OBU Assists State in Fighting Fires

Fires spreading throughout the state of Oklahoma have been a concern since the new year began. State officials have now called upon the services of Oklahoma Baptist University in their action of fighting fires in the Shawnee area. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management representatives were on the OBU campus Friday, Jan. 13, installing equipment that provides a wireless link to OEM’s command post at Shawnee’s Expo Center. An OEM representative contacted Gary Nickerson, OBU assistant vice president for business affairs and information systems and services, to see if the university could provide additional bandwidth (speed for network communications) for their command post. “The representative indicated they needed to up- and download video of the fires, and the limited bandwidth they were using could not handle the video transfers,” said Nickerson. In the spring of 2005, OBU increased its internet bandwidth by upgrading the university’s Internet connection. This improvement makes it possible for OBU to assist OEM without interfering with the university’s usage. “I knew we could accommodate their request since we only use a third of our bandwidth capacity,” said Nickerson. “This will enable them to connect and transfer their video over a much faster connection.”