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5th Annual Pro AV Spotlight Awards Best Government AV Installation: Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Center

Jul 18, 2012 2:15 PM

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Award Winners
Best Worship AV Installation
Best Education AV Installation
Best Healthcare AV Installation
Best Entertainment/Arts AV Installation
Best Corporate AV Installation
Best Hospitality/Restaurant/Casino AV Installation
Best Retail AV Installation
Best Museum AV Installation
Judges’ Award

AVI-SPL, Tampa, Fla.

This AV installation helps meet the training and response needs of the Minneapolis Fire Department, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the city’s Emergency Management Division, along with other regional partners. This innovative solution promotes collaboration, and quickly shares time-sensitive information across departments. The center brings numerous technological systems together in one highly interactive place.

“The initiative for an advanced EOTF really started to grow in urgency after Sept. 11 tragedies, and quickly gained momentum with the local bridge collapse in 2008,” says Dave Roth, the city’s BIS public safety applications support manager. “In addition, the logistics of planning and coordinating for the Republication National Convention underscored the needs for state-of-the art emergency preparedness. The proper funding helped this project become a reality.”

We were very much looking to digitize Minneapolis,” says Otto Doll, the city’s chief information officer. “Taking enterprise information—and then managing it with this level of advanced technology—makes interdepartmental communications much more efficient in an emergency situation.”

For example, logistics personnel may need to send budgetary content to a training room within the facility, or if a critical fire emergency is occurring and immediate monitoring is needed to coordinate across departments. Eight satellite tuners and seven Crestron multi-window processors help to make this happen, sending the material to the designated room to effectively manage collaborative efforts.

For this $1.2 million installation, Crestron’s DigitalMedia solution provides a complete source-to-display end-to-end engineered solution for the city’s operational needs. The key reason for the use of Crestron DigitalMedia was because the city’s operations rely so heavily on broadcast television and the media for communications. It was critical that the system be high-definition content protection (HDCP) compliant, and the DigitalMedia system is geared toward this protocol.

As part of the Strategic Information Center (SIC), the Work Room houses two computer-based workstations, including a 24/7 supervisor station and training system. Both deliver facility-wide audio and video feeds. A SMART Podium provides annotation capabilities with up to four display windows for a facility-wide signal routing system.

In addition, the Analyst Room houses 12 computer-based 24/7 workstations, with facility-wide signal routing as well. Centrally located is the Projection Design (F32FX+) videowall projection system, built from three side-by-side high contrast, high brightness DNP display systems. With each screen measuring 160in. wide by 120in. tall, images can be seen in four separate windows, with quick monitoring access around the city.

Police commanders now receive timely, accurate information on emerging crime trends within their precincts, and are better able to deploy available resources to mitigate crime. Effective analysis of long-term crime hot spots and seasonal crime patterns ensures that commanders can plan ahead for anticipated events, preventing crime and using only the resources needed.

Realtime information analysts feed detailed information to patrol officers at the scene of or even en-route to a reported incident. Better informed officers make better decisions, so crime scenes are handled more effectively and safely. This leads to enhanced public safety, better cases for prosecution, and improved officer safety. To date, the Emergency Operations Training facility has completed more than 7,000 hours of training for fire personnel from multiple jurisdictions. Emergency preparedness training and the regional teams now meet monthly at the facility, making it a highly efficient communication center.

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