Where is the agency going- Radio and Phone Infrastructure
The trend is clear. Call volumes continue to rise along with service expectations from the public and responders, along with associated responsibilities and technology. Much of the increased workload and heightened expectations can be traced to advancing technology. Cell phones are becoming the main form of communications, especially when calling 911 during an emergency.
As text messaging becomes a common form of communication, emergency service needs for the public and responders must keep up with advancements and expectations. The ability to use common communication styles to communicate with the Police, Fire, and EMS means a need to update and maintain today's shared infrastructure system that provides cellular 911 call routing to next generation IP compliant call routing system.
Technology, then, is where PSAP is going. This will allow for future needs involving text, video, and images. Over the next five years an upgraded Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, new radio consoles and a phone refresh will all be needed to keep up with the citizen and responders expectation of service. Additional staff is required, as well, to keep pace with the expanding calls-for-service and overall increase in responsibilities for PSAP, which serves multiple agencies countywide.
- A call-for-service is initiated when any event occurs where action by Law Enforcement, Fire, or EMS is required and dispatched by PSAP.
- Not only do the numbers of people needing coverage increase, so do the volumes of calls-for-service. In the last six years calls-for-service have increased over 18%.
- On average, we have over 87,000 calls for service each year.
- This leads to over 184 dispatched calls each day.
- This doesn't include temporary events or duplicate phone calls, radio transmissions, & requests by responders.
Advancing Technology- Motorola Radios
- The radios are a lifeline between us and our responders
- This allows us access to all of our agencies at all times
- We are able to dispatch/page out responders and perform status checks as needed
- The officers have an emergency button that alerts us when things go awry
- We are able to link agencies to communicate during large public safety events
Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)
- A new and improved interactive CAD system that is integrated with responder mobiles in the field, quickly increasing information available to responders
- City fire, all law enforcement, and Altru emergency medical personnel all have the same system and can see each other's location on a dynamic GIS screen
- Smaller volunteer and rural agencies receive pages via text from CAD through their cell phones
- Records every incident responded to and allow us to monitor the status of responders
- Tracks information on a daily basis so we are better prepared to help the public and agencies we serve
- Affords us the opportunity to cope with an increased call volume and helps integrate new technologies into the communication process
- VIPER- this is a system shared with Red River Regional Dispatch Center in Fargo, ND
- We have multiple 911 phone lines, non-emergency lines and administrative lines
- Calling 911 from a landline will give us your current location and phone number
- Calling 911 from a cell phone gives us your phone number not always your location (Phase I v. Phase II)
Mapping System (Part of new CAD System)
- This is not a real-time map, however this map is updated regularly to provide us with new streets and addresses as the City expands
- This is a tool that helps us give officers more information about the location they are headed to and also help us in asking our callers questions about the location they are calling from
- Federal Signal Commander System
- Our siren technology play a vital role when it comes to Weather/Flood related emergencies and making sure that our community has ample amount of warning to get to safety
- These sirens are maintained and tested on a regular basis to ensure they will be ready when needed
Texting to 911
- Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message to 911 from your mobile phone or handheld device
- Texting to 911 is intended primarily for use in three emergency scenarios:
- For an individual who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, or has a speech disability
- For someone who is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 911
- A medical emergency that renders the person incapable of speech
- For more information visit the Text to 911 page