System Upgrades & Projects

Telephone System Upgrade
The call and work load in the 9-1-1 Center has continued to steadily increase. The telephone system upgrade in December 2005 omitted internal extensions and ringdowns from the overall telephone transaction count.

Without the extension and ringdown traffic included in the tallies, it might appear that the 9-1-1 Center was less busy in 2006, but the increase in the incidents and activities of the user agencies reflect a steady increase in the demand on the public safety communications.

Wireless 9-1-1 Call Project
This past year, the 9-1-1 Center completed several complex technological projects, the biggest involving data associated with wireless 9-1-1 calls. In late summer 2006, we completed Phase I and Phase II testing with all local wireless carriers and now can provide these enhanced services to wireless callers.

Previously, 9-1-1 operators received no information when answering a call placed from a cellular phone. Phase I service provides the call-back number, which is extremely important in the event the caller loses their connection. Phase II provides the latitude and longitude associated with the caller’s location. Although there is a margin of error in the latitude / longitude information, it is generally close enough to get responders in the caller’s immediate area.

Our method of converting the latitude / longitude to a verifiable location on a map was clumsy, so our focus for 2007 was to interface the information provided by the wireless carrier to a mapping program in our CAD system.

Emergency Preparedness Network
Another major accomplishment was the implementation of the Emergency Preparedness Network. This product is commonly referred to as reverse 9-1-1 and it allows public safety and other governmental agencies to rapidly disseminate information to phone holders in specific geographic areas.

We finalized our acceptance of this product after using it during the COYOTE exercise in September 2006, when all hard-line phone holders in the area known as the Conoco Triangle were called and informed of the Hazmat exercise being conducted in their neighborhood.