Live video to aid L.A. rescuers

The Los Angeles County, Calif., Fire and Sheriff's Department is spending

$1.4 million on an emergency response system that will allow people in command

centers to view live footage sent from helicopters above a crisis scene.

InnovaCom Inc. won the contract and installed four TransPeg 200 transceivers

on mountaintops around the Los Angeles area, as well as receivers in the

command center. The transceivers take video footage from the helicopters

and compress it so it can be sent to the command center in East Los Angeles.

"They are getting real-time, broadcast-quality surveillance video,"

said Frank Alioto, InnovaCom's chief executive officer.

The system was designed for emergencies such as earthquakes, floods,

fires and riots. It uses real-time footage, allowing emergency response

personnel to get an overhead view of the problem and take action.

Alioto said that the compression equipment is needed because of the

large number of transmissions in the area. The video can be sent only from

the helicopter to the mountains without interference. Once the video is

compressed, it can then be sent into the basin.

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