Face-to-face coordination helps officials in Kaohsiung City prepare for disasters and plan evacuations, while providing real-time awareness for emergency response
SAN JOSE, Calif., and KAOHSIUNG CITY, Taiwan - Aug 08, 2013: As Taiwan enters another deadly typhoon season, Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open, standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), today announced its high-definition video solutions have proven to be a critical part of disaster preparedness and emergency response efforts in and around Taiwan’s second largest city.
In early July, government officials in Kaohsiung City completed the roll-out of an expanded Polycom® RealPresence® video network, with all systems in place just days before Typhoon Soulik – the first of the 2013 season – surged across Taiwan’s northern coast on July 13.
Completed ahead of schedule with help from Polycom, the network connects Kaohsiung City’s disaster prevention and response center with similar facilities in 38 districts throughout the city. The municipality of Kaohsiung, on Taiwan’s southwestern coast, is home to nearly 3 million people and covers more than 1,100 square miles.
Before Typhoon Soulik reached Taiwan, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu met face-to-face over Polycom video with disaster preparedness officials in the city’s 38 districts. Working from the Kaohsiung command center, Mayor Chen assessed the progress of preparation efforts in each district and coordinated evacuation plans.
Mayor Chen paid special attention to Kaohsiung’s remote mountain villages where past typhoons left villagers cut off from central emergency response authorities and impeded relief operations. Even in areas where communications remained operable, emergency workers had to communicate with central command by phone, satellite, or wireless – never with video, and always one at a time. Now, Kaohsiung City Fire Bureau officials can receive real-time updates from multiple districts at once and collaborate face-to-face via high-definition video.
Kaohsiung’s command center is equipped with the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform – the most secure and interoperable software infrastructure for universal video collaboration – which unites video calls from each district’s Polycom® HDX® group video system so emergency management personnel always have a current view of response activities across the city. When not engaged in disaster preparedness, the city saves on communication costs and travel expenses by using the Polycom network for administrative meetings and employee training. Those savings ultimately enhance quality of life in Kaohsiung City because more funds are available for public construction and improvements.
“Local, regional, and national governments worldwide rely on Polycom solutions for disaster preparedness and emergency response,” said Steven Li, general manger of Greater China at Polycom. “We are honored to play a role in helping the Kaohsiung City Government and its district offices minimize losses of life and property by improving the government’s planning and emergency response capabilities. 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.”