A while ago I started a journey through some of the Major Public Events (MPE) we have been involved in the past years… and here are few more to add!
2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing, China
One of the highlights of my Major Public Events (MPE) career took place in 2008 in Beijing. That was my first trip to China and I started with a two weeks tech support journey during the Olympic Games. Never done Olympics before either, so that was a good start.
Our local team got me a rental apartment from Beijing and I could pretend to be Beijinger for a short while. Such great people and the atmosphere was magical! Especially during the first days, when China was winning medals every day. Bei jing huan ying ni (Beijing welcomes you) song was played everywhere. Still every now and then I start singing that refrain in the shower 🙂
Great memories, like the moments close to the sport grounds when locals start asking if they can take picture of me. Sure, they must have recon my athletic figures thinking I’m potentially one of the medal candidates for the next day race.
Talking about rugged devices. My tech support role in China was not a nightmare either. Not sure what I was expecting, but most of the support was provided by the local team which gave me time to dive in the cultural part of this amazing country, and some Olympic events as a side dish of course.
Great memories, thank you China!
I assume later our equipment has been used for example in the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou and World Expo in Shanghai. Probably many other events as well, it’s a big country with lot of MPEs.
2014 Boston Marathon, USA
One HazMat example from our old US customer, Massachusetts HazMat department. They have loads of ChemPro100i detectors of their own to respond to routine HazMat calls, but in 2014 they got few more to enhance the security response during the Boston Marathon in 2014. How cool is that?
2006 Riga Summit / 19th NATO Summit
Heading back all the way to 2006, this time the large-scale event took place in Latvia, Riga. Actually, the first one I was involved. Nato Summit in November 2006, when the head of states were travelling to this historical city.
Truly an interesting project, the dialogue started around the time I joined the company and eventually visited the site when we started planning the actual event protection measures. Funny enough, when landing in the Riga airport first time, I saw a woman holding a logo sign of the previous company I was working for, and by default I walked immediately towards her like she was waiting for me. This dialogue was cut short by my boss when he came and drag me away. I tried to explain it was an accident and still do 🙂
Another interesting point in this project for a newcomer in the CBRN industry, was that we were doing bit R&D also for this case. The request was to have kind of a fixed monitoring system, but as the event took place in the historical building, they didn’t want to make any mechanical installations to the building structures.
So here we developed an all-in-one mobile CBRN module which had inbuilt chemical, biological and radiation detection capabilities. Then, we fielded several units around the building before the Summit took place.
Other Mass Event Protection User Scenarios
The newly developed CBRN module was so well received, that during the coming years we delivered similar systems to various customers globally. One of them was a customer we had in Japan, where I went in 2010 to maintain these devices in Tokyo. I remember we run out of some electronic component, and went to Akihabara district to search for it. Such a mind-blowing experience, and I have returned to this electronic heaven ever since, when back in town!
I am pretty sure those mobile units have been used in mass event type of gatherings in Japan as well, but I can’t be 100% sure though. At least the CBRN modules were already in operational use during the times of the Fukushima accident, and potentially could have been used for environmental monitoring purposes among the other devices they had in hand.
Multiauthority Cooperation in MPE Protection
More rugged military version of the mobile sensor system was later developed for the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF), to increase the CBRN situational awareness in various FDF actions. How it relates to MPEs comes via other national authorities, who could ask FDF support for protection of such an event.
This capability and multiauthority co-operation were actually demonstrated in the large-scale field exercise, in May 2019, when EnVision Gossamer was deployed to the exercise arena by the defence forces.
A bunch of other equipment from Environics portfolio was used here and there during the event, like ChemPro handheld chemical detectors, RanidPro200 and drone mounted ChemProDM. A wide range of equipment suitable for MPE protection.
Having delivered the devices to literally hundreds of different end-users such as police forces, fire fighters, HazMat, army, navy, air force, customs, border control, etc, the above mentioned events must be just the tip of the iceberg of the MPEs. threfore, in case I missed your event, just drop me a message and I’ll prepare the Part III!