The Information Technology Services unit that supports the technology needs of the Athletics Department can feel good that its work on one recent project bolstered campus safety and emergency response.
ITS On Site Support Athletics worked with the Athletics Department last summer to move the Command Center from the Smith Center to an undisclosed location. The project entailed installing dozens of additional cameras at the Smith Center, which vastly improved emergency professionals’ view inside and outside of the arena.
New space has better view
The Command Center had operated out of a small booth at the top of the Smith Center. It was a tight space, said Tom Livers, who leads OSS Athletics. “You could only see a limited amount of the arena at any one time,” he said. The spot did not meet the Command Center’s space and security needs.
Improves responder deployment
The Command Center is critical because from there, fire, police and other emergency professionals assess situations inside the arena and deploy responders. For example, if someone slips and falls and needs help, Emergency Medical Services can direct responders to the correct section and area, Livers said. Likewise, security workers know where to go if they need to break up some altercation. No matter the situation, with ample cameras to see what’s going on, officials can respond faster.
“We have every inch of the interior space of the Smith Center covered so now they see anybody in every seat, so it actually gives them a better view,” Livers said.
Number of cameras more than doubled
In 2015, OSS Athletics added 47 cameras to the 30 cameras that already were installed at the Smith Center.
OSS Athletics also rebuilt the computer network serving the Command Center. The ITS group took the server off of a private network, which was out of spec, and put it onto ITS’ controlled, closed network. That move improved information security and enabled OSS Athletics to set up remote viewing of the video feed for emergency professionals. Now certain officials with proper credentials can connect in and view footage from their cell phone, iPad or other device.
“Tom Livers and his team do a wonderful job of evaluating our needs thoroughly and then providing the most fiscally responsible solution,” said Clint Gwaltney, Associate Athletic Director. “The health and safety of our guests is extremely important to us and the ITS On Site Support team worked closely with DPS to make this happen.”