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Electrosonic Bolsters AV Capabilities In Renovation of Oklahoma’s Emergency Operations Center

OKEmergencyElectrosonic Systems Inc. (Electrosonic) has provided new AV equipment for the renovation of the State of Oklahoma’s Emergency Operations Center in Oklahoma City, which boosts the facility’s ability to handle crisis situations ranging from severe weather to homeland security issues. “The installation enables the Center to make better use of AV support to manage emergencies affecting the state,? says Electrosonic project manager Chris Hart.

The facility, on the State Capital campus, was a former 1950’s-era bomb shelter. “We were underground in a box and couldn’t go up, down or sideways,? says Duane Mass, president of Oklahoma City’s Mass Architects, the architects of record, which began the assessment process for the space in 2003. “It took many hours of head scratching to figure out how something built for early 1950’s technology could be fitted with the technology infrastructure the early 21st century requires. We were fortunate that Albert Ashwood, director of the Office of Emergency Management, was ready to explore some outside-the-box thinking. He encouraged everyone to think beyond what the physical space gave us to how we could serve the greater good and enhance capabilities.?

Mass Architects brought Electrosonic and general contractor Anderson & House of Oklahoma City on board the project which is designed to improve resource coordination and information sharing among state and local agencies. “The Center must be ready to muster resources,? says Mass, for wildfires, tornadoes, ice storms, public health and homeland security emergencies.

To that end Electrosonic furnished the Center with four 2×2 videowalls comprised of Planar Margay cubes with video input cards and Big Picture modules. The company installed two videowalls on the north side and two on the south side of the football-shaped facility surrounding a bullpen-style main area featuring 22 workstations.

Electrosonic also provided four 40-inch Planar LCDs, one 57-inch Samsung LCD and one each 32- and 26-inch Sharp LCDs for auxiliary rooms, including the governor’s secure conference room. An audio playback system, consisting of JBL speakers and QSE amplifiers, supplies audio support for the videowalls in the main room.

The videowalls will be used to display data from computer sources such as weather patterns, forecasts and webcasts of breaking news as well as monitor local and national news broadcasts relating to emergency situations. The LCD screens will display broadcast feeds at their locations.

All of the equipment is controlled from two computers via a web interface which interacts with an AMX system. “Control of what’s seen and heard in the main room and the auxiliary rooms is given to authorized personnel who employ the user-friendly web interface,? notes Hart. “It couldn’t be easier.?

Hart gives kudos to the “staff at Anderson & House and the employees of the Center who were really easy to work with. I wish all jobs went as smoothly as this one!?

Duane Mass says, “We appreciate Electrosonic’s patience and diligence throughout the project. Everyone is very happy with the installation.?

Fred Liebe is the assistant director of Oklahoma’s Office of Emergency Management. Miguel Troncoso was project manager for Anderson & House. Rich Krajcir was Electrosonic’s salesperson for the project.

Electrosonic has a 40-year history of providing advanced media solutions for applications in Public Spaces and Work Environments at hundreds of sites worldwide.

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