Rep. Hoyer visits McMurdo emergency response center

(LANHAM, Md.) — Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., second ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leadership, recently visited the McMurdo Emergency Readiness and Response Experience Center, which is located at McMurdo’s Americas headquarters in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Lanham, Md.

The McMurdo center, which is located in Hoyer’s congressional district, showcases the latest innovations and technology developments for search and rescue (SAR) in an immersive experience with real-time demonstrations of the entire SAR process — from distress beacon activation to satellite-based location detection to emergency response coordination.

“I was pleased to visit McMurdo to see firsthand the work they are doing to design, develop and test new search and rescue and maritime coastal surveillance systems that are sold to countries around the world," Hoyer said. "I'm proud that McMurdo has had the opportunity to expand its markets and create good jobs here at home in Maryland. I look forward to continuing to be a strong supporter of McMurdo and other small businesses in the Fifth District so they can compete on a level playing field in overseas markets."

As the industry’s first, single-vendor provider of end-to-end lifesaving and tracking solutions, McMurdo provides its Experience Center visitors (which include key customers, partners and press in government, maritime, aviation and other industries) an understanding of the different search-and-rescue technologies by taking part in various emergency scenarios. Participants also have the opportunity to sit at the controls of Mission Control Center and Rescue Coordination Center systems, similar to the McMurdo solutions used around the world by NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) and other leading SAR authorities.

The Experience Center also features a working MEOSAR (Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue) satellite-based search and rescue system, the next generation version of the current Cospas-Sarsat satellite system that has saved more than 37,000 lives since 1982. When fully deployed in the next three to five years, MEOSAR will greatly improve the existing SAR process with global coverage, near-instantaneous distress beacon detection and a unique Return Link Service feature that acknowledges distress signal receipt. MEOSAR’s advanced technologies, for example, will be able to accurately detect and locate a distress beacon signal almost instantaneously — instead of taking up to 30 minutes today.

For more information about McMurdo, visit

By Professional Mariner Staff