Stuck said SW24 Security planned the Fusion
Centre on paper for some 15 months before a
shovel was turned.
“We tried to design to a number of differ-
Faith Varwig, principal of Faith Group, concurs
ent scenarios as far as the infrastructure,” he
said. “We wanted a scalable server array and
then decided on the signature of our facility: a
40-foot-wide-by-11-foot-high video monitor ar-
ray. We didn’t do it for the ‘wow’ factor, but we
felt it was necessary to best serve our enterprise
customers. Every one of our operators is looking
at any situation and together can determine the
next step or protocol.”
Faith Group LLC, based in St. Louis, is a con-
sultancy that has completed dozens of strategic
plans and concept of operations for command and
control facilities. A current project is a new Airport
Operations and Emergency Operations Center for
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
that communication centers should be developed
to support the goals and objectives of the end-user.
“While technology plays a key role in supporting those goals, it’s clearly
established policies and procedures, roles and responsibilities which en-
able the facility to do what it was designed to do: enhance situational
awareness and operations and save lives,” she said.
Establish operational criteria
A key consideration in designing any command and control center is to
establish a clear concept of operations, according to Varwig.
“You have to define primary and secondary stakeholders and agree
on clear goals and objectives,” she said. “One of a number of drivers
of the technical specification is the vertical market, the number of
systems to be considered, where and from whom they are coming, and
who owns the system.”
She added that each vertical market has different operational criteria.
“While the physical configuration of the
center with dispatch consoles and large visual
displays may appear similar, the data collected
and systems are very different,” Varwig said. “A
good example is a traffic control center compared
to a 911 PSAP [public safety answering point].
They have a similar look and feel but many dif-
ferent systems to deal with.”
Regulatory issues also can affect the focus
and intent of the design specification.
“Tightly regulated facilities, such as airports,
tend to be more focused on specific data points,
“Security is the most important cultural shift of our generation,”
Stuck said. “We have to stay on top of the industry and technology. The
idea of simply monitoring a couple doors and windows are gone. For
the industry, it will mean higher RMR [recurring monthly revenue] when
you are looking at the entire building. Everyone thinks security, but it’s
much more than that.”
O’MARA is the managing director of DLO Communications
and a veteran of the systems integration industry. She can be
reached at 773.414.3573 and email@example.com.
SW24 Security’s video wall
is the centerpiece of its Fusion Centre,
providing situational awareness
for central station operators.