Motorola Solutions to improve New Orleans' emergency response system

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 30 June 2014
Motorola Solutions to improve New Orleans' emergency response system

Motorola Solutions is to integrate texting capabilities into New Orleans Parish Communication District’s (OPCD) computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system to improve its emergency response processes.

Located in the US state of Louisiana, OPCD provides the city’s emergency call centre and serves more than 370,000 citizens and millions of tourists each year. The department handles more than one million 911 calls annually, routing requests to 16 police, four fire and three emergency medical services (EMS) dispatchers across the city.

In September 2013, OPCD implemented Motorola’s PremierOne CAD solution to integrate formerly disparate police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) applications, a 911 call system, mobile terminals, tablets and a data warehouse into one intelligent system. OPCD is currently working with Motorola to integrate texting capabilities into the solution and is also exploring options for working with video feeds and the state-wide radio system.

The PremierOne CAD application runs on Windows Server for Embedded Systems and Microsoft SQL Server for Embedded Systems software, with a service-oriented architecture based on the Microsoft .NET Framework. The solution also uses SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services to share information within the public safety community.

The solution has helped to streamline workflow for dispatchers and connect multiple devices, applications and data sources used by police, EMS and fire services to shorten emergency response times, improve safety and eliminate error-prone manual processes. The CAD system automatically routes calls to the appropriate dispatcher and alerts the closest emergency personnel, who see the incoming information in real time.

“We have a set of rules built into the system that identifies the type of call, the locations, and the personnel and resources required,” said Karl Fasold, OPCD system administrator. “If the call is routed to the fire department, the CAD determines the closest station with available equipment and manpower.”

Drawing on multiple systems, calls are also cross-referenced with historical data and a mapping system, which is used to notify dispatchers and responders of prior incidents at an address or involving the person.

Multiple calls about the same incident are automatically synchronised and aggregated into a single report, while the solution’s data warehouse transfers this information to the tablets used by paramedics and the mobile terminals used by the police. In addition, the solution provides the same up-to-date information to the screens used by dispatchers and other staff.

“With one touch, officers can indicate if the scene is safe or if they need immediate help,” Fasold said. “While you’re on the phone to a 911 telecommunicator describing the guy breaking into your car, the call has already gone out to nearby police units with your location and other details, including your own real-time observation and any history of prior incidents.”

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