Florida county adopts new public safety communications setup
To help build the foundation for Next Generation 9-1-1 communications, last September Marion County, Fla., installed the Airbus DS Communications’ VESTA 9-1-1 solution. The system will aid in first responder communications for the county’s 350,000 residents. Marion County receives more than 700,000 calls annually.
The system has 28 call-taking positions at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, 10 call-taking positions at Ocala Police Department and eight backup positions. The positions are all interconnected to provide flexibility and reliability while allowing the county to gather complete information from incoming emergency calls. Additionally, the system will enable county administrators to integrate new technologies, such as text-to-9-1-1, in the future.
Previously, the county had two public safety answer points (PSAPs) that operated separately — the Marion County Sherriff’s Office and the Ocala Police Department. To increase redundancy, the geodiverse VESTA 9-1-1 system allows the two PSAPs and one backup location to operate as a single system. The system also provides the county’s call takers with a familiar interface, regardless of their location, simplifying the call-taking process and decreasing response times.
The system combines Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) call handling with the company’s call control technologies. It can support the emergency and administrative call-taking needs of PSAPs with up to 250 positions.
"The new system puts Marion County on the path to the next generation of 9-1-1,” says Karl Oltz, director of the Public Safety Communications Department for Marion County. “With this platform, we are able to gather more complete information from emergency calls as well as integrate new technologies and services in the future, such as text-to-9-1-1.“
“For 16 years, Airbus DS Communications has been a partner in delivering public safety communications for Marion County,” says Michelle Hirst, 911 administrative manager at the Public Safety Communications Department. “Combining the excellent service we get from CenturyLink, our service provider, with the new VESTA 9-1-1 solution, gives us peace of mind that we didn’t have before.”
For more information about Airbus DS Communications, click here.