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After Hurricane Rita: Fire Station Sees Safer Future with TANDBERG


TANDBERG Contributes Leading Edge Video Systems to “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition After the Storm” Project

NEW YORK and OSLO, Norway, April 17, 2006 – Last Friday, viewers of ABC-TV’s popular “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition After the Storm” witnessed the transformation of the Hurricane Rita-ravaged Sabine Pass, Texas, Fire Station. The makeover went beyond paint and carpentry by delivering a safer future for the local emergency response teams and the communities they protect.

When Hurricane Rita hit immediately after Hurricane Katrina, the devastation wrought on Sabine Pass nearly destroyed the town. The local fire station was so severely damaged that the facility was boarded up and its firefighters relocated, leaving the community without a critical portion of its safety network.

Responding to a call for help from the Sabine Pass community, located near the city of Port Arthur, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition After the Storm”; TANDBERG; and a host of other corporations and volunteers pitched in to create a state-of-the-art facility for the Sabine Pass first responders. TANDBERG‘s extensive experience working with first responders and the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program were key to creating a visual communication solution that would dramatically strengthen the ability of Sabine Pass’ firefighters to react to future disasters.

• Training and Readiness – Previously, Sabine Pass fire fighters had to travel nearly 20 miles to receive training, which left the station short staffed and exposed the community to higher risks. In order to improve training capabilities while keeping key personnel in their stations, TANDBERG deployed Site Commander units at two stations for distance learning over video. The Site Commanders, with large, 50" plasma screens enclosed in a ruggedized exterior, were designed specifically for use in firehouses and handle the most demanding environment. Simple to use, the firefighters can participate in live remote training, as well as view multimedia training materials from federal, local and state sources. These giant screen units also support cable TV and gaming systems for crew down-time entertainment.

• Administration and Team Building – Two TANDBERG 150 MXP desktop units will keep a Captain and a Battalion Chief in touch using video at their desks. Video increases the frequency of personnel and operations meetings, the effectiveness of communications and helps the extended fire department network act as a coordinated, cohesive team.

• Mobility and Sustained Communication – The Tactical Command Center, a suitcase-sized mobile video unit with satellite connection, will allow the firefighters to quickly set up live visual communications from the field. This solution enables instant assessment of a situation by sending live audio and video from a crisis scene to any central point – such as a command center or an emergency operations center.

“Our previous experience working with the First Responder community gave us unique insight into the solution that would benefit the Sabine Pass firefighters most,” said TANDBERG Chief Executive Officer Fredrik Halvorsen. “Because our systems easily integrate with existing network infrastructure, the fire stations have a foundation for future communications interoperability and ongoing cost efficiencies. We are honored to have been a part of the ”Extreme Makeover: Home Edition After the Storm“ project for the Sabine Pass community.”

This project was supported by Nortel, SBC Communications and AT&T. The Trevino Group, a Houston-based general contractor, managed the entire project. MCA Communications served as volunteer liaison, coordinating the efforts of over 1,000 volunteers working around the clock for four days straight.

“The TANDBERG system can be tremendously beneficial for any fire department, but especially so for the Port Arthur region, which not only is prone to hurricanes but also home to many large oil refineries,” said Wayne A. Roccaforte, the Port Arthur training battalion chief, when he and Fire Chief Larry D. Richard saw the visual-communication system in operation. “This project will allow Sabine Pass to take an important step toward recovery and transform the way that we train for and respond to emergencies,” added Richard.

In addition to Sabine Pass, TANDBERG has implemented visual communication at numerous fire departments and other public-safety agencies across the country, providing visual communication technology that has helped save countless lives by improving situational assessment and response to life-threatening emergencies.

For more information on this project, visit

TANDBERG is a leading global provider of visual communication products and services. The Company has dual headquarters in New York and Norway. TANDBERG designs, develops and markets systems and software for video, voice and data. The Company provides sales, support and value-added services in more than 90 countries worldwide. TANDBERG is publicly traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker TAA.OL. Please visit for more information.

TANDBERG is a trademark or registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

About Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. David Goldberg is the president of Endemol USA. The series is executive-produced by Tom Forman. The show airs Sundays (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET), on the ABC Television Network.


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