Bridge commission deploys new network

SUMITOMO ELECTRIC LIGHTWAVE announced the installation of FutureFLEX Air-blown Fiber infrastructure for the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission’s expansion of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, the fourth busiest commercial border crossing between the U.S. and Canada.

The FutureFLEX infrastructure eliminates the crews that would otherwise have to close lanes and portions of the bridge to re-enter the conduit systems in order to pull additional fiber. With the air-blown fiber system, network moves, reconfigurations and upgrades are achieved quickly and easily even in secure and limited access are — typically taking hours rather than the days of work needed to accomplish the same project through conventional cabling methods.

According to Paul Janhunen, NFBC’s facilities and operations manager, the FutureFLEX system was chosen over a conventional fiber optic backbone because the air-blown fiber infrastructure better complies with the Border Hardening provisions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Queensway Carleton Hospital stores with Kodak

OTTAWA-BASED Queensway Carleton Hospital has installed a picture archiving and communications system (PACS), computed radiography (CR) and digital radiography (DR) systems from Eastman Kodak Company’s Health Group.

The new systems are to create an efficient digital workflow with digital image capture of general radiology exams as well as electronic viewing, storage and distribution of patient medical exams from all diagnostic imaging modalities within the hospital.

The Carestream PACS is integrated with the hospital’s Meditech hospital information system (HIS); radiology information system (RIS) and patient care inquiry system (PCI). This integration at the desktop enables seamless access to patient information, radiology reports and images from the same workstation.

“We selected Kodak for this large-scale technology project because they demonstrated they could supply industry-leading technology and handle the integrations that were necessary to achieve maximum efficiency from our new digital workflow,” said Eric Hanna, vice president of Corporate Services, Queensway Carleton Hospital.

WorkSafe BC bets on new wireless network

THE WORKERS COMPENSATION Board of British Columbia – WorkSafe BC — says its deployment of a new wireless network will enhance the effectiveness of its field prevention officers, offering them mobile access to the data they need when they need it.

WorkSafe BC promotes workplace health and safety for workers and employers in British Columbia. Headquartered in Vancouver, with regional offices across B.C., the Board carries out its mandate through prevention officers. Officers conduct routine workplace inspections, reviewing first aid service levels to determine if they meet Occupational Health and Safety regulations (OHSR). The new wireless network is expected to help the officers do all this more quickly and more effectively.

The network, which is to debut in the second quarter of next year, will use Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 development system and SQL Server 2005. Dubbed WorkSafe Mobility, the network will allow officers to enter data into a Windows XP tablet while on the road, according to the Board.

Technology that has supported officers in the field until now was aging and inefficient. “We had an old Power Builder application that we built 10 years ago; but it ran on laptops and officers had to have a little office in the back of their van,” said Brian Cooper, CIO, WorkSafeBC. “We wanted our [prevention officers] to have more information at their fingertips when they [went] on site.”

Improved function boosts CA Institute’s Web site

THE INSTITUTE OF Chartered Accountants has launched a re-designed and easier-to-navigate Web site that provides its 31,000 members, 3,500 CA students and the general public with information and access.

“CAs and members of the public visit our Web site every day looking for current CA news items, applications, events and more,” said Peter Varley, vice-president, Public Affairs. “It’s a vital part of our two-way communications with members and it’s growing more important every day.”

Varsity ‘emergency response’ focuses on human element

DEVELOPMENT OF “EMERGENCY communication capabilities” has been on the University of Toronto’s wish list for a long time. Now, U of T has partnered with Bell Canada to roll out a new Emergency Response Management Solution (ERMS). In times of crisis, this software communications tool will help the university’s emergency responders communicate more effectively, according to Debbie Stewart, director of telecommunications at U of T. The new system, Stewart said, will help the university provide a safe environment for its large and diverse community.

Hosted by Bell Canada, the new crisis communication system was developed by Oakville, Ont.-based ERMS Corp., founded in 2002 in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. U of T’s ERMS program resides on Bell servers. At the university, those in charge of emergency communication can securely log on and start contacting people through multiple channels: cell phone, e-mail, PDA or fax. The ability of ERMS to synch with an organization’s contact information database will be a great time saver and make for quicker response times by emergency responders, said Stewart.

Bluewater’s smart meter pilot project

BLUEWATER POWER announced the launch of its smart meter pilot project in the Town of Watford. This pilot project will allow Bluewater to test the smart meter technology prior to the wide scale implementation of smart meters in the Bluewater service area over the next five years.

“The provincial government’s vision is for smart meters to benefit all of our customers and we are doing our part to ensure the necessary technology has been tested and is in place to allow us to carry out the vital role of installing, monitoring and managing the meters.” said Tim Vanderheide, vice-president, Client Services.

This pilot project will entail the installation of 750 smart meters in all the homes and businesses in Watford beginning in October 2005. Watford was chosen as the pilot project area because a large portion of Watford customers currently have automatic radio read (AMR) meters, which are a required component of smart meter communications technology, within a geographically self-contained communications neighborhood.

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