Relying on remote
Project: Remote monitoring for 911 center’s standby power system
Jurisdiction: Woodbury County, Iowa
Agency: Woodbury County 911 Communications and Emergency Operations Center
Vendor: Cummins Power Generation
Date Completed: Spring, 2013
Cost: Price for PC 500 $4,000 to $4,400
The Woodbury County 911 Communications Center and Emergency Operations Center is Iowa’s third largest emergency and 911 operation, serving 120,000 people in Sioux City and Woodbury County. It also serves North Sioux City, S.D., for police, fire, medical and general service responders. The facility handles about 50,000 emergency 911 calls and close to 400,000 administrative calls annually.
When the facility was built in 2008, they installed a 1,000-kilowatt generator and a remote monitoring system from Cummins Power Generation. In 2013, to maintain their accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), they installed a new PowerCommand 550 Remote Monitoring System to conduct and document regular power system testing.
“If we didn’t have electrical backup, we’d have to go to another location and reroute all our 911 calls,” says Glenn Sedivy, 911 communications director at Woodbury County 911 center.
Since the building opened, the generator and remote monitoring system have provided standby power for the Woodbury County facilities. “The generator has served us through several incidents where we lost utility power and had to operate on the standby system for a few hours to up to a full day,” Sedivy says. The emergency power system was funded by a federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security with matching contributions by Woodbury County and the data center operator, Long Lines Communications.
The monitoring system is capable of remotely monitoring up to 12 devices, including generator sets, transfer switches, sensors and output controls, all from one device with an intuitive graphical user interface.
A benefit of the PC 550 is the ease of use in conducting mandatory power system tests required to maintain the Sioux City Police Department’s status as a law enforcement agency accredited by CALEA.
Weekly one-hour tests performed by the system also aid quarterly mechanical maintenance checks of the emergency-power system.
“We can remotely start the generator if we need to. When it’s running, you can actually log into it remotely from a desktop PC and pull out information, such as oil pressure or other data,” Sedivy says.