Unified communications provider Polycom has completed the expanded network that links Kaohsiung City’s disaster prevention and response centre with similar facilities in 38 districts throughout the city.
The rollout of the expanded Polycom RealPresence network allowed Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu to meet via video calls the disaster preparedness officials in the city’s 38 districts.
The reliability of network was tested before Typhoon Soulik – the first for the 2013 typhoon season -- hit Taiwan last 13 July. The video network enabled the Kaohsiung mayor to assess the preparation in each district and coordinate evacuation plans before the typhoon reached the country.
Note that every typhoon season in Taiwan, the safety of three million people living on an area of more than 1,100 square miles (2,850 sq km) rests on Chen’s shoulders.
Chen, however, became less burdened with the task of managing disaster preparedness because the Polycom RealPresence platform allowed simultaneous video calls from each district’s Polycom HDX group video system.
The platform, which is an interoperable software infrastructure for universal video collaboration, enabled the emergency management personnel to have a current view of response activities across the city.
In the past, emergency workers had to communicate with central command by phone, satellite, or wireless – never with video, and always one at a time.
With the expanded Polycom network, however, Kaohsiung City Fire Bureau officials received real-time updates from multiple districts at once and collaborated face-to-face via HD video. This became effective even when assisting remote mountain villages that are usually isolated from central emergency response officials when disaster strikes.
“Local, regional, and national governments worldwide rely on Polycom solutions for disaster preparedness and emergency response,” said Steven Li, general manager , Greater China, Polycom. “With this Polycom network, Kaohsiung officials have a stable, real-time, high-definition video lifeline to every district in the city so they can be better prepared for the next emergency.”
In normal times, the city also saves on communication costs and travel expenses by using the Polycom network for administrative meetings and employee training.
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