In times of emergency, a variety of communication methods is required. Sometimes Instant Messaging (IM) is the best, most immediate form of communication, and other times video is required in order to assess a specific situation.
The ESIC vehicle is equipped with high-definition Cisco IP Video Phones and Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM), which provides a call control platform to deliver voice, video, messaging, mobility and Web and videoconferencing, allowing all personnel to communicate effectively across a range of devices.
Importantly, Cisco UCM also provides real-time availability status of users to enable improved decision-making and faster response times.
As the ESIC vehicle is generally stationed close to the incident, often high-touch communication is required with stakeholders based remotely. The truck is equipped with high-definition video, Cisco TelePresence, to allow personnel to communicate with key stakeholders, such as the media, which is particularly important for situations such as bushfires, where the incident could affect the public across a vast "danger zone".
Cisco TelePresence can also be used to communicate, in real time, with other command centres, which is useful in situations where the scale of the incident is widespread and involves a geographically dispersed incident response team.
The ESIC vehicle is also equipped with an IP video surveillance platform and day/night high-definition IP Video Cameras that provide real-time video footage capture and transfer, allowing immediate visual communications to aid emergency responses.
By transmitting video from the vehicle's exterior and interior, the command centre's awareness and understanding of the situation is increased and extended all the way to the front lines.
Video serves as a force multiplier and has become a powerful tool to increase the speed and precision of decision making because of advances in the cameras themselves, video analytics, and integration with other sensors and communications systems.
The National Safety Agency has outfitted the vehicle with an intelligent wired and wireless network that supports highly secure virtual private network (VPN) tunneling services to back-end resources and firewalls.
Cisco Access Points provide high-speed wi-fi within and surrounding the ESIC vehicle, ensuring that communication is not hampered by a congested network. There is also potential for public access to wi-fi connectivity, so civilians involved in an incident can easily get in touch with concerned friends and family.
The vehicle incorporates over 30 screens providing comprehensive intelligence and emergency management capability through multiple perspectives, including weather location information via cameras, hydrology data, real-time images from emergency services operators' helmet-mounted cameras, dashboards with different knowledge sources, multimedia and videoconferencing capabilities between the vehicle and the State Control Centre (SCC).
It also enables at-site triage prior to patients being transported to facilities using on-board Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) and telemedicine connections at major hospitals.
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