GREENCASTLE -- With a goal of trying to lessen the amount of time and money expended for county employees, emergency responders and others, Putnam County Emergency Management Director Kim Hyten is looking at acquiring a grant to install a videoconferencing system in the Emergency Management Center.
Videoconferencing is a set of interactive telecommunication technologies that allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously.
This can be as simple as a conversation between two people in private offices (point-to-point) or involve several sites (multi-point) with more than one person in large rooms at different sites. Besides the audio and visual transmission of meeting activities, videoconferencing can be used to share documents, computer-displayed information, and whiteboards.
Hyten is hoping to get a grant from Task Force 7 with the Department of Homeland Security to pay for the system that would be installed at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Putnam County.
"We can save a lot of money and time by using this. So many county officials and emergency people have to go to training and educational conferences and it can get expensive. With this system, we can have multiple people sit in on training and save the expense of travel as well as free up that time for other work," said Hyten.
In fact, Hyten has a vision for the county to be able to eventually hook up a big screen television in the old dispatch center in the courthouse.
"We can tie it into the videoconferencing and people like the auditor, clerk and other county officials can use it for training too," added Hyten. "We really want to move the county into a more business oriented management process. This will be a really useful tool."
Hyten hopes to find out if the county will receive the grant soon.