RTOC / Emergency Operations Center Design

Corporate Real Time Operations Center (RTOC)

Corporate Real Time Operations Center (RTOC)

HOUSTON  TX – REAL-TIME EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER (RTOC / EOC):  Audio Visual Technologies Group is a proven leader in RTOC and EOC design and systems integration.    Millions of people across the 8-county Houston metro area are protected by dozens of RTOCs, EOCs and Traffic Management Centers (TMC) that were designed and installed by AVTG for city, county and corporate organizations!

In this article we highlight solutions typically used in effective RTOC, EOC and TMC designs, as well a few of our installations across the region.

Essential EOC Capabilities:

The primary purpose of an Emergency Operations Center is to enable situational-awareness for those in charge, so they can make decisions in response to an emergency event in the least amount of time possible.   To be effective, the organization must have an “Information Gateway” that is capable of simultaneously displaying multiple sources of real-time situational information.

Multi-View Display

The primary EOC command center room needs the capability to display multiple visual information sources – so a group of individuals can collaborate in the real-time decision making process.    This visualization environment can consist of a combination of flat-panel monitors, projectors or video walls.

AV Switching and Routing

During the crisis, it is often necessary to share the numerous audio visual information sources with a variety of locations, such as the main multi-view display, remote operations centers, first responder dispatch centers, or isolated rooms dedicated to news media feeds.

A matrix switcher is the key component that enables these AV sources to be routed to all required locations.    AVTG can program a user-friendly touch-panel interface to simplify the control and management of these numerous information sources, so the EOC personnel can focus their attention on decision making, rather than managing the technology.

Video Conferencing

Communication and coordination is critical to a successful crisis response.   HD video conferencing can be an invaluable tool to help local and remote EOC personnel make decisions as a team.

Flexibility

With careful design, the EOC can also serve as a conference or training room when it is not activated for an emergency.    The return on investment can be significantly enhanced when the EOC can be effectively utilized for other business purposes.

Public Agency EOC:

Fort Bend County EOC

County Government EOC

When a large scale emergency occurs, the community turns to the appropriate government agency to communicate and coordinate response efforts.

Modern EOC design ensures that all necessary agencies (Fire, Roads and Bridges, Police, Red Cross, etc.) share common data sources, so this common information is available to all organizations when needed.

AVTG has worked with numerous city and county agencies to design state-of-the-art EOCs.    Two examples are Fort Bend County [read more] and Galveston County [read more] who utilize multiple front projection displays, each with QuadView processors to multiply the number of simultaneous information sources that can be displayed.

Traffic Management Center (TMC):

Northstar Traffic Management Center

Northstar Traffic Management Center

Traffic Management Centers have similar needs to EOCs, but TMCs primarily manage video data sources – such as hundreds of traffic cameras.

AVTG worked with Montgomery County to design and install a state of the art Control Room to help personnel visualize the numerous traffic data sources at their disposal.

Montgomery County has over 500 intersection video cameras, dozens of freeway cameras and radar monitoring stations.   All of these data sources are visualized daily to ensure safe and efficient traffic operations.

Corporate Real Time Operations Center (RTOC):

Corporate Real Time Operations Center (RTOC)

Corporate Real Time Operations Center (RTOC)

Many corporations, such as those in the energy and chemical industries, engage in work with many potential dangers.   These organizations utilize Real Time Operations Centers (RTOC) to proactively prevent emergencies by monitoring ongoing operations, as well as being able to coordinate emergency response efforts if the need does arise.

RTOC capabilities are similar to those of government agency EOCs, but also include the ability to monitor and visualize real-time operational data from remote work sites [read more].    With careful design, these systems can be configured to also interface with local government agency EOCs – to more effectively coordinate with first responders if the need arises.

AVTG has work with numerous corporations to design and install their RTOC solutions, to enable them to proactively prevent emergency situations – rather than just re-actively responding after the fact.

NASA DOD Payload Operations Control Center:

NASA DoD Payload Operations Control Center

Payload Operations Control Center

NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD) work closely to deliver sensitive payloads into orbit.      During these joint missions, the Department of Defense needed a Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) to monitor these missions.

AVTG partnered with the DoD to design and integrate the necessary equipment to monitor the numerous AV feeds from these missions.      The ability to monitor and switch between AV feeds enable personnel to oversee all aspects of sensitive missions.    The integrated touch-panel control system simplifies management of the information sources.

Conclusion:

Effective management of complex operations requires real-time situational awareness.  Although organizations may differ in their scope of work, AV technologies can be deployed to increase any organizations effectiveness in managing their unique operations.

AVTG can apply extensive experience to help build an effective operations center design that meets the unique requirements of your organization.   Please contact us if you would like to discuss an operations center design project.

About AVTG:

Audio Visual Technologies Group, Inc. (AVTG) is a Houston, TX-based company established in 1952.   AVTG is focused on providing customers with the industry’s most advanced audio visual, digital signage, and video conferencing technologies. We strive to provide the best system integration solutions, applications and deployment options to meet our customers’ business needs.

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