Las Vegas – Vegas PBS announced it has been awarded $89,539 by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to expand emergency alert and communications services in the community. Through CPB funding, Vegas PBS will expand the emergency services it currently provides to the Clark County School District Police Department (CCSD PD) to include the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD).
An early developer of emergency communication applications for digital television, Vegas PBS, working closely with LVMPD, will upgrade current infrastructure, incorporating new software and electronics that can accommodate more robust data feeds such as helicopter, traffic and surveillance video. Data from these sources will be able to be aggregated, encoded, encrypted and broadcast to responding officers. Through Vegas PBS’ digital broadcasting technology, LVMPD officials will be able to send emergency alerts and other information through a variety of formats (text, audio and video) to first responders and the general public.
Vegas PBS is one of five public media stations chosen for the Emergency Alert and Communications grant program. Vegas PBS, along with the other four grant recipients – WSKG (New York), Maine Public Broadcasting Network, WGBH (Massachusetts), and Twin Cities Public Television (Minnesota) – will work with community partners and other public media stations in the region to acquire or develop digital wireless technology and capabilities that will significantly enhance support to first responders, emergency management agencies, and the public in times of natural or man-made disasters and emergencies. In addition, these five stations will share the benefit of their work and experiences in this area with the public media system in order to increase the impact of the initiative.
“We are pleased that during periods when telecommunications systems are overloaded, like New Year’s Eve, NASCAR races, or Electric Daisy Carnival, the Vegas PBS broadcast signal will be able to support Metro and protect our citizens and visitors,” said Vegas PBS General Manager Tom Axtell.
“The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department looks forward to collaborating with Vegas PBS to enhance the department’s video sharing capabilities,” said Sheriff Douglas Gillespie. “Video and other high-bandwidth content is always a challenge to deliver effectively and efficiently. The capabilities Vegas PBS brings with this project will help us share information and provide badly needed redundancy, which will benefit the entire Las Vegas Valley.”
Public media stations have long played an essential role in supporting their communities during emergencies, when the need for timely and accurate information is most critical. Earlier this year, following several devastating natural disasters, CPB’s Board of Directors and management identified the need for public media stations to expand their emergency alert capabilities.
“Public media stations, locally owned and operated, care for and are concerned about the welfare of the communities they serve,” said CPB President and CEO Pat Harrison. “The Emergency Alert and Communication grant program will ensure these five stations will be able to more effectively provide the public with vital, potentially life-saving information when they need it.”
About Vegas PBS
Dedicated to enriching the lives of those who call Southern Nevada home, Vegas PBS Channel 10 is one of America’s most watched PBS stations on a per capita basis. Five additional channels are available over the air or on cable and satellite including Create, Vme, Worldview, Rewind and Jackpot!
Vegas PBS expands its television broadcast impact through supplemental materials on Vegas PBS.org, PBS.org, PBSKids.org, PBSParents.org, PBSTeachers.org and NextAvenue.org. Vegas PBS also offers extensive online distance education for workforce development and economic diversification through Global Online Advanced Learning (GOAL).
Vegas PBS provides K-12 educational resources to teachers and students in public, private, charter and home schools including TeacherLine professional development courses; One Place, a curriculum-correlated online media service; the Described and Captioned Media Center (DCMC) containing materials for deaf, hard of hearing, blind and vision impaired individuals and those who assist them; and Ready To Learn literacy and health community workshops based on curriculum materials in daytime children’s programs.
For more information on programming and services, please visit VegasPBS.org, like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/VegasPBS, or follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/VegasPBS.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services. Visit us at www.cpb.org.