Rapid Disaster Response with a Mobile Computer System

Executive Summary

The Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH) Use Mobile Computers to Provide Disaster Relief For Gulf of Mexico Oil Spills.

The CTEH was in search of finding a device with GPS locating capabilities for rapid response teams to capture time-sensitive data out in the field. The solution uses the camera and GPS radio of an MC55 mobile computer to capture data at the oil spill sites and relaying all of the information to a database at headquarters.

The Business Challenge

CTEH is a science-based consulting firm established to provide toxicology and environmental health consulting services to the public and private sectors. With the disaster of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the rapid spread of oil, immediate actions were required. CTEH needed to scan employee badges on the device and deploy the individuals at various locations along the coastline in order to capture the magnitude of the oil spill.

CTEH was unsure of how to quickly collect critical information with individuals scattered all across the coastline while preserving as much time as possible. They decided to reach out to OCR Canada to identify a solution that can collect and send the data wirelessly so that a proper evaluation can be made.


In response to CTEH, OCR Canada recommended the Motorola MC55 mobile computer, which possesses a GPS radio and camera. The individuals located on the coast were able to capture images while being tracked with GPS to maximize productivity. The built-in imaging scanner allowed technicians to scan their employee badges for quick log-ins. Additionally, the device was lightweight and portable, thus allowing the technicians to carry more necessities on their person.

OCR Canada suggested a specific configuration of the MC55 mobile computer in order to fulfill CTEH’s other requirement of streamlining data to their headquarters. With the use of mobile data connectivity over a cellular network, the data was received quickly from any location, thus saving time and allowing the right people to make educated decisions with the information captured.


After coordinating for overnight delivery of the mobile computers to the respective locations, CTEH was capable of quickly responding and evaluating the oil spill. With the solution provided, they were able to double the proficiency of data and eliminate hundreds of hours of manpower.

The Future

The OCR Canada solution, which includes an advanced mobile computer, has been incorporated into several first responder agencies. With the ever-evolving geo-tracking technology, agencies can now respond quicker in emergency cases, thus saving money, time, and possibly lives

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