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Remote conference capability technology helps responders during field exercise

| 11.15.2007 | 09:40:1610637 |
November 15 '07: An online collaborative tool designed for businesses to hold meetings over the Internet has been deployed in the field to help first responders share information real-time. In a press release from Citrix Online's GoToMeeting, a public/private partnership designed to test communities' abilities to respond to fire emergencies in multicultural settings, an emergency response operation was conducted through funding provided by the Department of Homeland Security and with the cooperation of FIRE 20/20, a research and education non-profit organization which is working to integrate fire preparedness and response into the business world.
Larry Sagen, the director of FIRE 20/20 said in the press release, "Using Citrix GoToMeeting, our team could meet online with a few clicks of the mouse and work on documents, share data, view PowerPoint presentations and make group decisions in real time. ... Without the Citrix Online Service, we simply would not have been able to conduct regular meetings during our year-long research phase because of the costs and time involved with flying all over the country."

The press release's details of the fire emergency response exercise found that, "Using their PCs or laptops and an Internet connection, the researchers could securly show each other their findings. By traveling less, yet being able to meet whenever necessary, the eight-member project team saved precious time and resources while staying on deadline."

A highlights section of the FIRE 20/20's findings can be found on the organization's website. The research team looked at five questions facing firefighters when they are responding to an emergency. Those questions were then put into context of a multicultural community and the ways in which the two - the responder and the community - view each other and how that affects the response.