Video conferencing enhancing emergency response

Thursday, January 5 2012

Government agencies are using video conferencing in an effort to enhance emergency response through training programs and real-time communication. Police officers, health department officials and emergency response teams are finding that they're able to share the most accurate information about training and responding to emergency situations with the aid of web conferencing.

Organizations conducting online conferencing are eliminating the obstacle of distance and are able to simultaneously educate a larger audience for emergency preparedness. The Library of Congress Preservation Directorate and the Federal Library and Information Center Committee have held programs on building cooperative disaster response networks via web conference. The meetings trained participants on national and international disaster response efforts.

According to the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, the Virginia department of health emergency preparedness and response program holds a video conference for emergency planning for special needs communities. They were able to help 212 participants in 27 counties set up plans for emergency situations.

In addition, police officers in several states are already using web conferencing to gain access to emergencies in real-time. Officers at the scene are able to communicate with dispatchers and officers who are stationed far away. With live updates and accurate information, police departments and emergency response teams can gain a better understanding of the emergency and can respond most appropriately.