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Cassidian Communications' Emergency Call Taking System Supports Four-Agency Consolidation in Leon County, Florida

Date: 2013-10-22
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  • VESTA®/Sentinel® 4 system installed in new, state-of-the-art Public Safety Complex in Florida state capital
  • VESTA/Sentinel 4 system enables new era of technological capability for first responder agencies in Florida

Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, today announces the successful implementation of its next generation emergency call taking system, VESTA®/Sentinel® 4, in Leon County, Fla. The system will support the mission-critical communications needs of four first responder organizations under the county’s new consolidated dispatch agency (CDA), helping keep the people in Leon County connected when it matters most.

Home to the state capital of Tallahassee, Leon County has approximately 284,000 residents, plus a growing population from two universities and a community college. Leon County has relied on Cassidian Communications’ 9-1-1 call taking solutions since 2005 to field the approximately 230,000 emergency and administrative calls received each year.

Stratus Technologies

When county and city officials made the decision to consolidate their dispatch resources in 2010, it was determined that new communications technology would be needed to effectively support the four agencies coming together under one roof—Tallahassee Police and Fire Departments, Leon County Sheriff’s Office and Leon County Emergency Medical Services. Therefore, the county sought a solution that would be easy to use, yet deliver the power and functionality necessary for quick response, as well as provide a path for Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) by accommodating future, IP-based capabilities like text-to-911.

“Moving to a new facility, while upholding the same level of service our residents are accustomed to, required a solution with little to no learning curve,” said Edith Taylor, Leon County’s 9-1-1 coordinator. “VESTA/Sentinel 4 provides just that. Because of its ability to supply the same look and feel of our existing system, our call takers were instantly comfortable. We also have many new features, like the Activity View application which provides an exceptional level of monitoring and threshold-based alerting. Our supervisors are delighted with this functionality.”

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Leon County CDA’s VESTA/Sentinel 4 system supports a total of 40 call-taking positions, divided between its main center—the new, 100,000-square-foot Public Safety Complex—and a backup facility, as well as other public safety answering points, including Florida State University, Florida A&M University, the Capitol Police offices and the county’s mobile unit. This is made possible through the solution’s geo-diverse design, which also provides maximum redundancy to ensure the back-up system is fully operational, should the primary become unavailable.

The purchase of Leon County’s next generation emergency call taking system was funded through a Florida E911 grant. The state’s E911 Board offers three grant programs to assist counties with the funding of such systems, enabling PSAPs to secure the technology they need to keep their residents as safe as possible.

Leon County CDA also will use Cassidian Communications’ Aurora® MIS (Management Information System) at multiple locations. The ORION™ Vela® advanced mapping solution will be used in the backup facility along with ORION™ DataSync™ map updating solution, which synchronizes the ORION Vela and Aurora applications. In addition, Cassidian Communications will provide complete system security management, a comprehensive bundle of virus protection and patch management, through its Managed Services offering.

For more information, see: www.CassidianCommunications.com

- Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via Cassidian Communications, 10/14/13)

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