Looking forward to cheering on your team? Or singing along with your favorite rock star? As a fan or concert-goer, you may focus on what’s happening in front of you without ever considering that today’s stadiums are more than just places to watch an event. They’re an amalgam of services that support the fan experience.
For example, true fans know that a baseball game needs hot dogs. They should be able to buy their favorite player’s jersey. And, it’s always fun to watch the hard-working groundskeepers roll out the tarp when a thunderstorm passes by. But most important – though most fans push this to the back of their minds – are the people who rush to your side when there’s a medical emergency.
Unified Communications to the Rescue
When a child trips and gashes her chin leaving the stadium bathroom, or a fan experiences chest pain while getting to his seat, time is of the essence. Modern stadiums need a communications solution that quickly connects staff, no matter what device they’re using or where they are. Employees across all services need access to messaging, voice, video calls and the ability to share images.
Harris County, Texas realized this as Super Bowl LI® approached in February 2017. As hosts of the biggest sporting event in the United States, its staff understood the importance of secure and efficient communications between ten law enforcement agencies, including 1,000 public safety personnel spread over 21 command posts.
Using unified communications (UC), the county implemented a web-based application all personnel could access. Whether they were using a smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop, everyone involved could text, video conference and share photos (like the image of a lost child). From one command post, a single person managed 90 medics and 13 ambulances.
Boston’s Fenway Park™, home of the Boston Red Sox™, includes a first aid facility and has several EMT teams stationed around the field. The team also partners with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which provides on-site doctors and nurses during games. The Boston Red Sox™ use UC to connect all employees so they can respond quickly to any emergency.
For instance, if a fan falls and twists an ankle, an usher will text or call the medical staff to their exact seat location. The EMT responds, triages with the usher over the phone and decides whether the fan should be transported to the medical station. If necessary, they text a medical runner to take a wheelchair and bring the patient to the first aid station.
UC enables healthcare professionals to communicate and confer in a variety of medical situations. Not only can an EMT kneeling by the injured fan text colleagues in the first aid station, on-site medical personnel can communicate with local hospitals so that serious medical emergencies are dealt with quickly. EMTs can share images of the injury with emergency room staff for a consultation. Or they can coordinate with the hospital so that when the patient arrives, the ER has the crucial information needed to treat them.
Unified Communications on the field
How about the players? Imagine a tour team’s best hitter pulling a muscle while he sprints to first base. All action comes to a halt as the athletic trainer runs out to evaluate the injury. That’s what the fan sees. What’s not apparent is all the communications and collaboration taking place among the team’s medical staff before, during and after the game.
For a major sport like baseball, each team has a large staff of healthcare professionals and trainers who help athletes play at peak performance. They take care of minor injuries, rehab for major injuries, prepare for games, assist with workout programs and stand by the field should an injury occur once the first pitch is thrown. They all send daily reports to the front office so that everyone is in sync, knowing the exact physical condition of their players at any moment.
Flexible, reliable and simple to use
The key to any effective communications system is its ease of use for both staff and IT. In today’s large arenas, UC enables employees to do their jobs more quickly and efficiently by harnessing both on-site and cloud-based infrastructures. Device- and software-neutral, the unified communications solution doesn’t demand a steep learning curve for end users. It just lets them do their job—and play ball.