In Franklin, Tennessee, the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is dedicated to the mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery to keep Williamson County a thriving and safe community. This is achieved through emergency services training, community programs and planning coordinated responses in advance for any hazards that may arise.
The Williamson County EMA is housed in the 53,000-square-foot Public Safety Center. Completed in 2016, the facility is built to operate 24x7 without failure and includes an Emergency Operations Center (EOC), an Emergency Communications Center (ECC) for 911 dispatch calls, as well as training rooms and administrative offices. As a command center for large scale events, the EOC contains 105 stations and is staffed with personnel from different agencies who work together to manage disasters and incidents when they arise.
The EOC was previously served by a video wall that was reaching end of life, leading Williamson County EMA to upgrade to the latest display technology with a fine pitch LED video wall from Planar. Installed by audio visual designer and integrator M3 Technology Group, the installation is a nearly 32-foot-wide, 9-foothigh (16x8) Planar® TVF Series LED video wall with a 1.5 pixel pitch (TVF1.5).
Supporting emergency decision making As the visual centerpiece of the EOC, the Planar TVF Series LED video wall plays a crucial role in displaying important information and data, helping to ensure the situational awareness of EOC personnel.
“The video wall is a huge inner piece of our operation,” said Sean Cothron, communications and technology coordinator with Williamson County EMA. “Once an event gets to be a certain size, Emergency Management gets involved. But day-to-day, the EOC is still operational and used for activities like managing hazmat crises or monitoring severe weather like snow, tornadoes or flooding. The space is also used for training and for the planning and execution of emergency services with planned events. So, there are a lot of different resources we display on the video wall.”
Content shown via multiple windows on the Planar TVF Series LED video wall can range from web content and GIS data to local and national news, the weather channel, weather radar and more. “We have ten PCs tied into it that are dedicated to displaying dashboards or information from the different applications we use to track disasters,” Cothron said.
According to Cothron, the new installation provides key support in terms of influencing the decisions made on behalf of each emergency support function. “Before, there were always seams in the video wall, but now they are gone,” he said. “Images are absolutely crisp and clear. Walking into the room, it’s really a site to behold.”