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Public Safety Series: EOCs Harness Video to Improve Emergency Response

Last month, I had the opportunity to speak with PoliceOne about how Cisco solutions are helping to improve public safety in an area most people aren’t aware of: emergency operations centers. Emergency operations centers, or EOCs, are the center of disaster response efforts, helping to coordinate the first responders and distribute information to decision-makers in a chaotic emergency situation. EOCs facilitate communication across agencies to allow for coordinated efforts. And in an emergency situation, which is hectic and can be confusing, the clear communication and up-to-date information an EOC providers is vital to helping mitigate the disaster.

Since speed, accuracy and collaboration are all crucial to an EOC’s mission, the centers are constantly investing in new technologies to help them improve in these areas. In more recent years, one of the most effective collaboration technologies EOCs have harnesses is video. Why video? Video improves data gathering, which leads to more increased situational awareness, which ultimately allows for a more coordinated response.

The types of video systems vary. Digital signage, for one example, can be used to display information such as television streams, maps or graphs on a large screen visible by all in the EOC. This type of video system also can function as a display for group videoconference that allows agencies on the local, state and federal level to coordinate quickly and clearly.

A video collaboration tool like Cisco WebEx enables users to share the information on their computer screen while engaging in desktop-quality video chat, and Cisco TelePresence allows for high-quality online face-to-face conferencing. Using these technologies helps build relationships and ensure communication is clearer, as body language can be interpreted and expressions shared.

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Cisco Connected Government: Helping Heroes

As I wind down and get ready for Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so many people in my life. At Cisco, I have the opportunity to work with amazing people around the world dedicated to helping others. These people are the heroes who help, teach, heal, serve, and protect us.

At Cisco, we believe it is our role to help heroes around the world dedicated to public service.  We share our vision in this short video titled “Being There.”

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Secure Collaboration for Mobile Emergency Responders

During the past several months we have witnessesed a number of disaster and emergency response crises around the world including:

  • Tornados in Alabama
  • Earthquake and tsunami in Japan
  • Earthquakes in China and New Zealand
  • Floods in Australia and Brazil
  • Gas pipeline explosion and fire in San Bruno California

    When major disasters and emergencies occur, response organizations and government public safety agencies  require immediate communications support to save lives, establish relief operations and provide ongoing assistance in affected communities.  

    IP-based secure communications provides flexible capabilities for mobile emergency responders including Cisco TacOps.

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