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Two More Virginia Counties to Deploy NG9-1-1 Networks

Date: 2011-12-20
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Franklin and Patrick Counties to Join Pittsylvania County as the First in Virginia to Provide Advanced Emergency Communications to Residents and Visitors

Franklin and Patrick counties have announced plans to deploy next-generation 9-1-1 networks in 2012. The two counties’ new emergency communications systems will serve approximately 75,000 residents and join Pittsylvania County as the first next-generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) networks in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The announcement follows the successful completion earlier this year of a 24-month NG9-1-1 pilot program. The pilot project was a public/private partnership between the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA), Franklin County , Patrick County and Colorado-based Intrado, the company under contract to install the new next-generation 9-1-1 networks.

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Under the current project schedule, Intrado and Franklin and Patrick County 9-1-1 officials expect to install and activate the NG9-1-1 systems early next year. The upgraded networks will provide the Franklin and Patrick counties emergency communications centers with advanced 9-1-1 capabilities and the foundation to offer future services that include the ability to accept text messages, cell phone pictures, video clips and other data.

“We’re extremely pleased to be among the first 9-1-1 centers in Virginia to offer residents the advanced capabilities that next-generation 9-1-1 technology can deliver,” said Bill Agee, Manager of Emergency Communications for Franklin County. “Our new emergency communications system will enable us to provide a new and better level of 9-1-1 service, while also putting in place the framework that will allow us, emergency responders, county residents and visitors to benefit from new life-saving technology as it becomes available.”

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“Patrick County’s new emergency communications network will enhance the capabilities of our 9-1-1 system and help enable improved emergency response,” said Mickie Martin, E911 Coordinator for Patrick County. “The emergency services Internet-protocol (IP) network will also facilitate improved collaboration and information sharing among public safety agencies throughout the state and region as NG9-1-1 becomes more widespread.”

The IP-based NG9-1-1 technology upgrades are being funded by the Virginia Wireless E-911 Services Board’s public safety answering point (PSAP) grant program, administered by VITA. The new NG9-1-1 networks offer improved interoperability and leverage economies of scale, while allowing autonomous local PSAP operation.

“The people of Virginia expect and deserve the best and most advanced 9-1-1 services that our public safety agencies can provide,” said Dorothy Spears-Dean, public safety communications coordinator for VITA. “The installation early next year of NG9-1-1 networks in Franklin and Patrick counties further demonstrates our commitment to implementing Virginia’s statewide comprehensive 9-1-1 plan, an important initiative for improving public safety for all of Virginia’s residents and visitors.” 

For more information about the new next-generation 9-1-1 systems, please contact Bill Agee, Manager of Emergency Communications, Franklin County, VA, or Mickie Martin, E911 Coordinator for Patrick County, VA.

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via Intrado, 12/14/11)

 

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