California County Emergency Operations Center Improves Situational Awareness
Contra Costa County in California has opened a new Emergency Operations Center (EOC) featuring a state-of-the-art Situation Room equipped with the latest real-time visualization technology. The EOC serves as a command center in the event of a crisis or natural disaster. Its role is to improve emergency response, including the mobilization of municipal, county, and private resources.
The solution chosen was a combination of RGB Spectrum’s Galileo display processor coupled with its Zio AV-over-IP platform. Contra Costa County selected the RGB Spectrum solutions for their 24/7 reliability, support for diverse signal sources, ability to disseminate information to local and remote locations simultaneously, and exceptional 4K image quality. Rosendin Electric, a highly experienced audio-visual design-build integrator based in San Jose, California, was commissioned to design and deploy the Center’s visualization system.
At the core of the Emergency Situation Room is a massive 32’ wide by 14’ high video wall powered by RGB Spectrum’s Galileo video wall processor. The large video wall comprises forty-eight 55-inch LCD screens in an 8-wide by 6-high array, flanked by four 86-inch auxiliary displays interspersed throughout the room.
The Galileo processor consolidates critical visuals and data to provide a centralized, correlated view of tactical situations. Source signals are displayed in windows of any size, anywhere. Operators can easily switch and route inputs, choose customizable, preset display layouts, and pan and zoom around items of interest. Operators collaboratively view this information for purposes of assessment, analysis and decision-making.
A critical requirement was to share visuals and data both throughout the EOC and with agencies offsite. Critical information is simultaneously displayed on the video wall and shared with remote facilities via IP video streams on local area (LAN) and wide area (WAN) networks, with a VPN for added security.
To share visuals with remote locations, the Zio AV-over-IP platform supports both baseband inputs and IP streams at up to 4K60p resolution, including maps, news feeds, TV broadcasts, interagency communications, internet data, traffic management systems, surveillance cameras, and the Galileo video wall itself.
RGB Spectrum’s Galileo/Zio scalable platform enables critical visuals and data to be shared locally and remotely, giving EOC staff and outside agencies access to each other’s resources.
All video, audio, and control data are converted to IP packets that are switched and routed to any location on the network via a LAN/VPN. Zio encoders ingest baseband inputs and encode them into H.264 streams which are fed to recipients inside and outside facility. The Galileo processor and Zio decoders display IP streams from Zio encoders as well as third-party IP cameras and other H.264 devices.
The EOC is an information hub equipped with 13 conference rooms, 22 offices, and a press briefing auditorium, all of which have access to the content of the Galileo/Zio system. Individual visuals, portions of the video wall, or the entire video wall image can be shared throughout the facility and with remote locations. Communications are bi-directional, with conference rooms and remote locations able to send visuals for display on the EOC’s video wall. Staff operate the system using a third-party touch screen controller able to quickly change display layouts and route signals.
The Zio platform is scalable and easily expandable to meet growing requirements. The system automatically detects and indexes new Zio encoders and decoders as they are added to accommodate growth requirements.
Rick Kovar, Emergency Services Manager for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, commented, “It is extremely important for EOC personnel to be able to investigate an incident and make decisions on deploying resources. One of the things we learned from previous disasters is that we need to maximize situational awareness. The video wall is key for achieving this. In a wildfire situation, for example, we have access to fire cameras across the county. We have GIS maps that display hotspots. There’s data available from a variety of sources. RGB Spectrum’s systems allow for their efficient transmission and display to all decision makers. This improves the common operating picture throughout the facility.”
RGB Spectrum’s Galileo video display processor and Zio AV-over-IP platform are ideal solutions for critical operations, including emergency operations centers, security operations centers, control rooms, command centers, traffic management facilities, and network operations centers. Together, the two form the backbone to a decision support system, part of the company’s commitment to collaborative decision making.
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