Senator Cortese & Delegation Secure Funding for Lifesaving “MOSES” Technologies for Wildfire Preparedness

Senator Dave Cortese (D-Silicon Valley) announced today that, thanks to a budget request he championed, the City of San Jose will be able to purchase a Mobile Operations Satellite Expeditionary Systems (MOSES) to communicate securely and effectively during a wildfire or natural disaster.

The Senator’s budget request was made with the support of his colleagues including Senate Majority Leader Robert M. Hertzberg (D- Van Nuys) and Assemblymember Evan Low (D- Silicon Valley).

Our recent historic wildfires have laid bare the vulnerabilities that exist in the current communication infrastructure used by our first responders during an emergency” said Senator Cortese. “I am confident that this funding will allow our community to better fight wildfires and save countless lives. By using proven and state-of-the-art technology, we can minimize the risk of failure and ensure first responder and emergency communications to the general public is reliable.”

The MOSES satellite communication unit has been successfully deployed – with Santa Clara County becoming the first County in the state to purchase the system - to provide cellular, WiFi and satellite service where it is needed the most to ensure that this community can withstand the challenges of a major disaster, including wildfires. The military grade system allows first responders to make voice calls, track and coordinate resources, support mutual aid resources and communicate with the general public regarding critical evacuation information.

A MOSES satellite unit can be deployed at a moment’s notice, has antenna coverage of 960 miles, can support 100,000 data users, and can operate at altitudes of up to 15,000 feet with wind conditions over 50 miles per hour.

Funding was secured as follows and details can be found in Budget bill SB 170:

·      City of San Jose - $2.185 million for 1 MOSES unit

A regional and statewide asset, a MOSES satellite can form an independent emergency communication system to ensure first responder and emergency communications are re- established should our existing communication infrastructure fail.

The capabilities MOSES will provide in the event of a large-scale disaster or wildfire has great potential to save lives,” said San Jose Fire Chief Robert Sapien, Jr. “We know clear and timely communication is essential in keeping our firefighters safe as they respond to emergencies and our ability to reach residents with critical safety alerts cannot be overstated.”

The staggering number of wildfires in recent years — as well as the increasing danger they pose to our courageous firefighters and California residents — make this investment in MOSES technology all the more necessary,” said Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley). “I want to thank Senator Dave Cortese for his partnership in securing these vital communication tools to help San Jose’s emergency responders.”

We’re fighting a two-front war when it comes to climate crises: on one hand we’re advancing policies to reign in our carbon emissions in the long-term and on the other we’re responding to impacts that are happening today,” Senate Majority Leader Robert M. Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) said. “This technology is essential to protecting our families from wildfire and other natural disasters as our state navigates the ravages of climate change.”