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City of Allen, Texas shows off their Phoenix G2


Fire Chief Bill Hawley talks about the benefits of USDD’s Phoenix G2 Station Alerting System. From the original video:

The City of Allen has just recently implemented a new Public Safety Computer Aided Dispatch System. The CAD is a system of hardware and software, vehicle locators and integrated equipment which all allow the public safety communications center to receive emergency calls, pinpoint the location of the emergency, and then effectively send the appropriate resources to the scene.

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Video transcript:

Announcer:

Over the past five years, the City of Allen has experienced rapid growth during its transformation into a premier destination in North Texas. And as the cities visitors and residents increase, so too does the need for improved public safety services. As a result of this growth, and the foresight to create a strategic plan for technology, Allen has implemented a new public safety computer aided dispatch system or CAD.

The CAD is a system of hardware and software, vehicle locaters and integrated equipment, which allow the public safety communications center to receive emergency calls, pinpoint the location of the emergency, and then effectively send the appropriate resources to the scene.

This plays a vital role in providing a timely response to any emergency.

Public Safety Communications Manager, Shellie Taylor:

Every action taken within the system is logged. We can see who opened the call, who’s read the call, and who was recommended to respond to the call. We can even play back how the unit drove to the call, the route they took, and the speed they took. That is a big change from how the system used to work.

Announcer:

Whenever someone dials 911, the dispatcher answers the call and enters the emergency information into the CAD, which then determines the location of the incident and marks it on a digital map.

Public Safety Communications Manager, Shellie Taylor:

The CAD itself is based entirely on accurate GIS data. You have to have really good maps. In the end, what it means is that a call that comes in can be plotted on the map, the dispatcher can see it, and then know who to send based on the location of the call.

Announcer:

Concurrently, the CAD software uses automated vehicle locating technology (or AVL) to precisely detect and dispatch emergency vehicles.

Police Chief, Brian Harvey:

The officers’ cars have automated locaters in them, and all of the addresses have been geo-coded, so the CAD software can actually calculate the closest officer.

Announcer:

The AVL system also allows emergency responders to map their routes along with providing turn-by-turn voice directions.

Fire Chief, Bill Hawley:

Response times are very critical in an emergency. In a fire, it will grow exponentially over time, so if we can shave off a 30 seconds or a minute in our response, it may be the difference between just the couch being involved in a fire, or the whole room, or possibly a large portion of the house. We are looking to save every second possible in the process, and the new CAD system allows us to do that in a number of ways.

Announcer:

Additionally, if the location of the emergency is on or near US-75, public safety personnel can take advantage of the Texas DOT network of highway cameras to verify the incident with live video access. As soon as the location of the emergency is confirmed, police and fire personnel are dispatched according to predetermined response plans.

Public Safety Communications Manager, Shellie Taylor:

The very first field on our call entry screen is the location because that is the most important thing we need to know. They enter that first, and when they tab off of that field, it goes through what we call a geo validation process, it [CAD] searches against the map to say, “Where are you?” The dispatcher picks the location and [the system] plots the incident on the map, and then it’s ready to be dispatched.

Announcer:

The calls are then sent to the mobile data computers mounted in each of the responding emergency vehicles, which further reduces response times.

Fire Chief, Bill Hawley:

Under the previous system, a person who received the 911 call would be trying to do three things simultaneously, talk to the caller, start alerting the fire stations and talk over the radio to the firefighters to tell them what was going on and where, and also flipping through flip charts trying to give pre-arrival instructions to the by-standers on how to help this person before we get there. Now, because the system is automated, as soon as key information is entered into the system by the dispatcher, it automatically sends that information to alert the firefighters in the stations and starts that process happening sooner.

Announcer:

While units are on their way to the emergency, the dispatcher now has the ability to give specific life-saving instructions to the caller through the use of computer assisted emergency medical dispatch protocols.

Public Safety Communications Manager, Shellie Taylor:

What Pro-Q/A does is take those card sets and it makes them electronic. That does a couple of really good things for us. The electronic versions have the ability to enable or disable certain protocols based off of the answers that we input. So, if I say it is a male caller it won’t ask questions about pregnancy. It’s a little more intuitive, it will change he to she based on the gender of the patient.

Fire Chief, Bill Hawley:

Our new fire station alerting system was installed with fire station number five. It receives a signal from the dispatch center at the fire station through the cities computer network.

Announcer:

The new in-house fire station alerting system immediately notifies firefighters through tones and lights. The call information is then delivered by automated voice, printouts and LED display boards at the station.

Fire Chief, Bill Hawley:

It [Phoenix G2] just helps alert them in a timely manner and provides them a variety of methods that ensures that it gets their attention through sounds and lights and other devices and passes that information to them very effectively to help speed their response to the emergency.

Announcer:

As responding units approach the scene, they can see the other units on their digital map, which allows for better positioning at the incident

Police Chief, Brian Harvey:

With the mapping, they can quickly see where the calls are occurring and if some officers need to move to another area that’s not covered we can keep shifting our deployments and cover the city more effectively.

Announcer:

Once they [emergency responders] are positioned, the CAD continues to aid in the response by relaying important information to the incident commanders. Once the incident is under control and response vehicles are released, they are once again available to be dispatched to other emergencies through the CAD.

Another advantage of the CAD is that all call information, including unit times, location and key data accounts are transmitted to the records management system. This allows for reliable statistics, helps personnel complete their reports more efficiently, and assist administrators in analyzing workloads, as well as, trends in calls for service. The fire department is live on their new RMS system and these reports are available to fire administration today.

Announcer:

Most of these computer aided dispatch system capabilities occur simultaneously, which saves precious seconds and minutes.

Fire Chief, Bill Hawley:

The whole integration from beginning to end we are the first one in our area to have it at this level and have this many components come together. Again, others have one portion or another. We are very fortunate at Allen to have brought all of these together in one system to speed response along.

Announcer:

This improved response time of Allen’s public safety professionals allows us to provide the highest level of service to our citizens, and further enhances the exceptional standard of living for which the City of Allen is known.

 

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