Internet protocol-based network from AT&T allows county to route and respond to calls more reliably and paves way for advances in emergency response services
Brevard County, Florida, December 13, 2011
Communication is critical in an emergency. Being able to reach the people who can help you is even more important. In an effort to make first responders more accessible to residents, Brevard County, Fla. recently signed an agreement with AT&T* to roll-out the Emergency Services IP network (ESInet) next generation 911 services.
Using technology and services from AT&T, Brevard County and its roughly 540,000 residents will benefit from a variety of new capabilities that provide life saving services in a reliable and timely manner including:
- Complete overhaul and re-building of the county’s aging pre-existing 911 network.
- Three AT&T-managed facilities spread across the state to host the new network.
- New equipment that permits call center operators to dispatch first responders faster by giving them the ability to:
- Gain quick access to caller information
- Quickly identify location information
- View 911 caller information on a graphical map display
- Generate reports on call handling
- The ability to re-route calls from one public safety answering point (PSAP), or call center, to another in case of natural disaster or other catastrophic event. If one of the county’s 11 centers is damaged in a disaster and unable to receive calls the system is designed to automatically re-route those calls to another location for processing. This makes sure that residents in the impacted area who need help are able to connect with first responders and receive the care they require.
- Automatic transfers of calls made during a catastrophe that would normally be disconnected. If a caller is in the middle of a conversation with a 911 operator and a natural disaster or other event happens that would normally cause the call to disconnect, the call is instead re-routed to another PSAP location without being dropped. This allows the caller to maintain a continuous conversation with operators during a critical moment.
As part of the agreement, AT&T offers the county assistance on installation, project management and training on the new system. Additionally, AT&T monitors the network 24/7.
The ESInet will roll-out in stages, one PSAP at a time. The entire system is scheduled to be up and running by Spring 2012.
The Future of 911:
As ESInet deployments become more widespread across states, the 911 capabilities will grow as well. Because the network is Internet protocol-based, the system will be able to handle data files, such as text messages and images when standards are developed – capabilities that do not exist for today’s 911 services – as well as traditional voice communications. Additionally, the PSAPs will be able to share information among each other, as well as state and federal agencies such as FEMA or Homeland Security for a coordinated response in the event of a large scale disaster.
To make sure the system is ready for the future, Brevard County employed AT&T’s help to make the network compatible with I3 standards. These standards are defined by the National Emergency Number Association and dictate the basis for next generation 911, ensuring that 911 systems across the country will be able to accept text messages, photos, videos and more. Incorporating the I3 standards now will allow the network to evolve faster as standards are ratified.
“Keeping residents safe and responding quickly to emergencies are the cornerstones of 911 services,” said Deborah Sands, 911 Coordinator, Brevard County, FL. “Through our work with AT&T, Brevard County has taken the first steps to make sure we are prepared for the future of 911 capabilities and are ready to offer our residents the most cutting-edge and effective methods of communicating with us when they need us most.”
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
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