Ministry of Emergencies in Ukraine Uses Video to Protect Citizens, Provide Ongoing Support After Chernobyl Accident

Julie Zellman

by Julie Zellman, Marketing Communications Coordinator, LifeSize

When you think of video conferencing, you may think about internal collaboration within a large corporation or an SMB, or maybe corner offices and well-appointed conference rooms. However, more organizations are using video for disaster prevention and response, far from typical spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.

The abandoned city of Pripyat with Chernobyl plant in the distance (Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Ministry of Emergencies in Ukraine is the central body of the country in the fields of civil defense, rescue work, radioactive waste handling, and other forms of protection for its citizens against natural or manmade disasters.

For example, one disaster that the country has to routinely manage, even today, is the Chernobyl nuclear accident that occurred in 1986. When the power plant exploded, radioactive contamination was released into the atmosphere. Though this event happened 26 years ago, Ukraine (the country in which the power plant was located) is still burdened with the consequences, such as substantial decontamination of rivers, lakes, reservoirs, groundwater, flora and fauna. It has been said that the estimated cost of the disaster over 30 years is over $235 billion. For the Ministry of Emergencies in Ukraine, work is still being done on a daily basis to control the contamination risk to citizens.

Additionally, not only does the department have a central headquarters, it also supports 27 regional offices throughout the country. Because it is imperative for all locations to be in sync during a time of crisis, a sophisticated communications model needed to be put in place. If there is a threat to the country or its citizens, the ministry must be able to respond quickly and effectively.

The department turned to valued LifeSize partner and system integrator, System Technologies in Ukraine, for a video conferencing solution that would provide real-time meetings between offices, flexibility for scalability if the department grew and low ownership and support costs. The ministry deployed video in its head office and the department’s 27 regional offices. Now, whether the department is dealing with a forest fire, a flood or contamination from the Chernobyl disaster, the staff members at the ministry headquarters and regional offices are now able to communicate, face to face, whenever needed.

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