DPW Dispatch resides in a 40-foot semi-trailer at the DPW Depot. The trailer is one of the first “structures” to take its place on the playa each year, and the crew of seven (plus or minus) operates 24/7 for approximately one month. Unfortunately the Dispatch trailer took on some extreme water damage over the winter, the extent of which wasn’t known until we hit the playa. Emergency repairs were enacted and the mold trapped under a layer of paint. We are looking to move into a new trailer beginning in 2011.
Dispatch monitors multiple radio channels to provide support and coordination services to many departments within the city (as well as Black Rock Station and the Gerlach office). Dispatch staff is integral in helping many Depot and DPW services including receiving and all forms of fuel.
Again in 2010, the team had responsibility for emergency services dispatch before and after the event. Ever more radios were added to the fleet around event time thanks to renting additional units but even so there always seems to be a need for more. Dispatch also provided after-hours support to the Black Rock City Gate Crew.
Heavy Equipment Support Services and Transportation
This year we set a record for time and efficiency in our transportation efforts. The job of moving 100+ shipping containers from Black Rock Station to Black Rock City took three days! While this feat is impressive to those of us who remember when we didn’t really have ANY shipping containers for storage, we will not be striving to beat that record any time soon. Many people will be surprised to hear that we have so much material that needs moving but keep in mind that this is all of the stuff that goes into building the infrastructure for Black Rock City. BRC doesn’t spring forth fully formed from the center of a drum circle!
Support Services Camp continues to be a success in its location on the Esplanade and now forms the nexus of a number of service camps that have aggregated to share resources.
Fuel and Power Grid
Unfortunately, as in so much of the rest of the world, fuel is absolutely critical to operations and we literally would not be able to build Black Rock City without that distillate of sunshine. We again pre-purchased the majority of our fuel supply, saving us considerable expense. We use fuel for the fleet vehicles used by our various construction crews, all of the heavy equipment we have on playa and the power that we generate for the Center Camp grid and various other, smaller grids essential to the production and management of the event.
Again this year the DPW Power Department installed hundreds of yards of heavy cable and power distribution equipment. Some 22 generators were used to power Center Camp, the outposts, the Man platform, the airport, DPW Depot and other locations throughout Black Rock City. This is the second year we’ve handled power distribution in-house; we rent the majority of the equipment and install it ourselves in the DIY tradition of Burning Man.