New Mobile Command truck to serve South Central Kansas

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SOUTH HUTCHINSON, KS The city of South Hutchinson just got a new piece of equipment that will help not just them during emergencies, but 19 counties in South Central Kansas.

Collins employees pose for picture in front of the Mobile Command truck they built.

Since 1995, South Hutchinson has used a 1986 Chevy for their Mobile Incident Command. Police Chief Scott Jones says they nicknamed it MIC (pronounced Mick). They got it from McConnell Air Force Base for free.

In 2009 Collins Bus renovated MIC to make it easier to use. For the past 21 years South Hutch Police and Fire have used MIC during major events.

"The old truck is 30 years old, so the engine's tired, the transmission is tired," said Jones.

Thursday, they got an upgrade.

"I was very impressed with the truck, once I saw it for the first time. I couldn't believe it," said Jones.

Custom built by Collins Bus, the new Mobile Command truck has just about everything emergency officials need, including the ability to watch live TV and space to coordinate their response. It even can become a mobile 911 dispatch center.

"This is something that I think not a lot of counties, not a lot of cities have access to, so it will be very very useful for having that here," said Chris Hiebert, Director of Operations for Collins Bus.

"Believe it or not," said Jones. "The other thing I'm excited about, you're going to laugh, all of these white walls, that's all dry erase board and they're magnetic."

And when you're trying to coordinate a lot of people, writing space can be a premium.

Paid for with an $80,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security, 19 counties will have access to this truck

"Having something mobile and ready to go, and you don't have to hook it up and for events it's very very important to help either with wild fires or stretch or collapses or SWAT team deployments or anything of that nature," said Greg Klien the Chair for the South Central KS Homeland Security Council.

Since South Hutchinson applied for the DHS grant, they'll maintain and house the truck when it's not in use. South Hutchinson's police chief says the truck will be used at least five to six times a year.