Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs) are formed by self-organized wireless nodes that use multi-hop wireless relaying. These networks are useable in a variety of situations ranging from fixed residential broadband networking based on rooftop wireless mesh nodes to emergency response networks for handling large scale disasters. Quick deployability, minimal configuration, broadband communication, and easiness of reconfigurability are the major characteristics that make WMNs a suitable choice for emergency applications. There exist several open research issues in using such WMNs for emergency response applications. One example is the deployment strategy which must be in accordance with the principal application and its topological requirements. We, in this paper, present a hybrid distributed wireless networking architecture, Extreme Networking System (ENS), and present large set of performance observations collected from a real distributed hybrid wireless mesh network used for supporting a medical emergency response application. We present the traffic behavior observed in our network when a client server medical emergency response application is employed. The performance observations on real-traffic scenarios for emergency response application underlines the need for focusing further research on topology control, reliability, service availability, and distributed management.
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