The San Francisco Emergency Communications Department
Countless disasters have befallen San Francisco and the Bay Area, often requiring the immediate response of multiple city services and departments. Not so long ago, the Loma Prieta Earthquake quite literally shook the city to its foundations. City government soon turned to Snader & Associates to ‘shake up’ their response mechanisms and make the emergency communications process more efficient.
The San Francisco Emergency Communications Department recently turned to Snader & Associates to create a state-of-the-art Strategy Room – a first of its kind for the city -- in which chiefs of staff can meet and coordinate relief activities during a disaster. Funded by the Homeland Security Act, the project was ‘soup to nuts’ with Snader attending all design and preconstruction meetings with the end users, City architects and contractors to ensure the team fully understood system needs and to enable the design and integration of all necessary technology and features.
As anyone – victim or rescuer -- who has lived through a major disaster will attest, during an emergency accurate information and speedy communication are critical to addressing the multiple ‘fronts’ of any civil crisis. It was essential that the new system include various computer and video feeds simultaneously displayed for quick visual access, Smart Technology compatibility, and user-friendly remote control.
The turnkey room package provided by Snader incorporates dual 67” Clarity DLP displays with an RGB Spectrum multi-viewer for windowing of up to 6 computer and 6 video sources simultaneously across the 1x2 video wall. A Smart Technologies Sympodium touch screen display is used for interactive collaboration. For ease of use, a Crestron remote control system and custom interface was included. Officials can now access instantaneously a wide variety of information from multiple sources: TV broadcasts (both cable and off-air), 911 audio and video data sources, CAD maps of the city and much more. Interface and distribution equipment is housed neatly in racks within the custom wall cabinetry in the room.
The system proved a total success as, during the first emergency trials drill, Mayor Newsom and the Chiefs of Fire, Police and other civil services were able to meet in the Strategy Room to make crucial decisions based on the visual information displayed.
Having been recommended for this project by the SF Fire Department, for whom they created an operations center, Snader & Associates are pleased to continue working for the public sector as the Strategy Room has been so successful that various elements of the system have now been duplicated within the City, including most recently at the Department of Public Health.
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