Los Angeles County Fire Department

Mission: Improve Coordination Efforts

The Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) is one of the largest in the country, with close to 4,000 dedicated personnel responsible for not only fire suppression, but emergency medical services, lifeguard operations, airlift rescues and additional operations.

“With the implementation of a video wall, we realized that the entire dispatch floor would be able to quickly gain an overall perspective on any crisis, allowing decisions to be made more effectively.” – Scott England, telecommunication systems consulting engineer, Los Angeles County Fire Department

At the heart of its massive coordination efforts is the Fire Command and Control Facility (FCCF) Dispatch Center, located at the LACoFD headquarters. Dispatchers previously relied on the use of two CRT TVs on carts to relay critical information throughout the FCCF. Sharing reports from neighboring rooms required personnel to rush between stations. The key criteria for designing the new AV systems included increased efficiency, interoperability and room for future growth.

Action: Share Information in a 24/7 Environment

AVI-SPL installed a Planar video wall in a 2-by-4 array, featuring 70-inch cubes than can present information in a 16:9 widescreen format. The system sends and receives multiple cable TV and satellite signals, and features multi-imaging capabilities through an RGB Spectrum Media Wall processor. This advanced display incorporates feeds from helicopters and aerial footage, which is critical during a widespread emergency situation.

Two 65-inch Sharp LCDs provide supplemental display options for operators on the dispatch floor. The solution includes Contemporary Research’s HD TV tuners. System management is led by AMX’s NetLinx Integrated Controller.

Impact: Better Prepared for Emergency Response

“With the implementation of a video wall, we realized that the entire dispatch floor would be able to quickly gain an overall perspective on any crisis, allowing decisions to be made more effectively,” says Scott England, telecommunication systems consulting engineer for LACoFD.

The building’s video distribution system has increased the functionality of other meeting rooms, which can transition into Department Operation Center (DOC) and Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) command posts in the event of a multi-agency crisis. While coordinating with agency leaders in one location, fire chiefs can quickly receive up-to-the-minute information from the dispatch floor. They are also able to effectively manage an event from a regional perspective, without disrupting the response efforts of the dispatcher.

“At the height of the Station Fire, a recent countywide situation put the Los Angeles County’s communications infrastructure at Mt. Disappointment in jeopardy,” says England. “Our video wall allowed information to be shared between the Dispatch floor, ECC and the DOC so that resources around the county could be re-directed to put the fire out. Had it gone up in flames, losing the site would have been catastrophic for all Los Angeles County operations.”