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#CiscoPublicSafety Series: Fire Departments Improve Training with Telepresence

May 23, 2014 at 8:01 am PST

There are roughly 10,000 firefighters in Los Angeles County who are responsible for the lives of 9.8 million residents. Getting the proper training for all of the fire departments in the county is of the utmost importance in order to maintain a safe community.

Training difficulties

Mandatory classes for all L.A. County firefighters are held annually at one location to maximize the instructors’ time. The problem with this approach is that firefighters are spending several hours outside of their jurisdiction to attend the classes, which affects response times. To adequately staff stations during training, fire departments spend excess dollars for travel and replacement firefighters.

So, they began searching for a way to save money and enhance firefighter training programs during a period of government budget constraints. Shortly after, the Los Angeles Area Fire Chiefs Association (LAAFCA) received grant funding from the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Program to help to support their high-threat, high-density communities.

Virtual technology for enhanced training sessions

The LAAFCA decided to use the grant to invest in telepresence, or video conferencing, technology to help them meet their financial and training goals. Telepresence was scalable and could be manipulated to fit the needs of the different-sized fire departments in the county.

With HD cameras, microphones, speakers, and lighting, the video systems would allow one highly-qualified instructor to conduct trainings from one location to multiple departments throughout the county in real time.

Since the integration of telepresence, L.A. fire departments have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in training and travel costs, provided multiple virtual training sessions with the same level of high-quality emergency support, recorded previous course lectures for replay at any time, and improved firefighter response time.

“If there is a major emergency in the region, all of the county’s firefighters can respond with the same level of high-quality emergency support. Video conferencing offers these benefits to the trainees in the most efficient way possible.” -- Christopher Donovan, Fire Chief at Monrovia Fire Department, California.

If you would like to learn more, read the full case study, and let us know how technology is helping your local first responders.

We also invite you to join our upcoming live webcast on June 5 – our industry experts will cover everything you need to know to create a unified, interoperable public safety IT environment. Register Now

More to come! Be sure to check in for all our upcoming Friday blogs on the latest trends, challenges and technologies impacting public safety. Follow the hashtag #CiscoPublicSafety and @CiscoStateLocal and @CiscoGovt on Twitter for updates, and visit the Cisco Public Safety site for more information on solutions.

 

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#CiscoPublicSafety Series Kick-Off: New Technologies in Public Safety Systems

We are very excited to announce the beginning of our new blog series on public safety. This series will include a number of posts that examine the intersection of technology and public safety as well as identify solutions to promote greater awareness and action.

Having worked in this field for over 15 years, I am especially enthusiastic about sharing my thoughts and starting a conversation on these issues. Before leading the Cisco’s Connected Justice Solution and Public Safety Business Development team, I was a Chief of Police and dealt with all of the same issues that agencies are dealing with today.  Throughout my career, I have been passionate about improving the criminal justice system as well as government and public safety. And to this end, I have worked to streamline processes, lower costs, and increase efficiencies through the use of technology while making first responders safer. Read More »

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Public Safety Blog Series – Premium Mobile Broadband, a virtualized private LTE network

Cisco’s new Quantum Virtual Packet Core technologies and Premium Mobile Broadband will provide remarkable benefits for Public Safety, Smart Cities, Utilities, Mining and more.

Intelligence relies on the ability to create connections -- to connect the unconnected -- and to deliver the right information to the right person, machine or device that facilitates autonomous decision making and action.  Broadband network infrastructure technologies, such as LTE, and the Internet of Things (IoT) products and technologies are accelerating our ability to realize the benefits of the Internet of Everything (IoE) by connecting people, processes, data and things.

Public Safety is seeing a dramatic evolution of needs and realizing that the limitations of Land Mobile Radio technologies, while they do provide for mission critical communications are not sufficient to meet the all of requirements of today and the future.   Many public safety agencies have the need to support officer safety with sensors from connected devices, or machines during an emergency -- sensors that detect a man-down, for example, or other biometrics.  Many personnel in public safety may have video in their vehicles, and some are wearing video giving real time information and intelligence to dispatchers and operations personnel responding to incidents. Video can also be used to support training, investigations, legal evidence, and other processes.  Some cities are deploying new Smart City applications that connect lighting, street parking, or control traffic to improve city traffic management and public safety operations.  Cities use a broad range of additional applications to deliver and support services in day to day operations.   Flexible tools and technologies are needed. Read More »

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Summary: Government Agencies and the Future of Mobility

Today’s law enforcement and government agencies are leveraging mobility to enable efficiency and ensure greater safety and security for the public these agencies serve.

In recent years, law enforcement agencies have turned to mobile technology to enhance wireless networks to deliver mission critical information. Other agencies have turned to software to help analyze citizen-driven information on mobile devices and crime in real-time.

IT decision makers in the public sector will face several challenges as they look for solutions in this growing mobile landscape that will help those in the line of duty. With that in mind it’s important for those decision makers to continue to support the case for innovative mobility solutions.

Read the full article:  Government Agencies and the Future of Mobility

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Public Safety Blog Series-Community Policing in Action: Mankato’s Tapestry Project (Authored by Todd A. Miller, Director of Public Safety, Mankato Department of Public Safety, Mankato, MN)

Each year, at the IACP Annual Conference, we celebrate the best in community policing through the IACP and Cisco Community Policing Awards. In Mankato, MN, we are living proof of the impact community policing can have on communities.

IACP-MankatoWhen we look at critical incidents and threats to public safety, we see that they transcend race, mental state, gender, ideology and other differentiators. They can happen anywhere and in any size city, and it is our job to prevent, deter, respond and recover from those incidents. Of all these, prevention and deterrence are by far the most imperative as you have saved resources and possibly lives, and then you don’t need the efforts and expense of recovery.

To prevent and deter, a police department, city and other public safety agencies must leverage partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the conditions that give rise to such incidents and threats. With resources limited by current economic conditions, the force multiplication agencies receive by implementing the community policing philosophy and partnering with citizens is the most effective means of making our communities safer.

Read More »

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