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Collier County, FL Emergency Services Center

 

With a population of more than 315,000 citizens, Collier County is the second largest county in Florida, just behind Palm Beach County. It is also one of the most visited counties in Florida, swelling with more than 1.4 million visitors a year (2005). With a population percentage increase of more than 25% between 2000 and 2006, Collier County should continue to experience an influx of residents and tourists alike.

This population influx, along with monies granted by the state and federal governments, allowed Collier County Emergency Services to build a new, state-of-the-art, multi-department facility to house their countywide mission-critical call center.

The new center houses numerous agencies, allowing for interoperability processes to be in place. The various entities include a new 9-1-1 dispatch center, an East Naples Sheriff’s substation, Emergency Medical Services administrative offices and supply warehouse, backup information and technology systems, offices for the Bureau of Emergency Services and the Emergency Management Department, and a new county Emergency Operations Center with provisions to manage and orchestrate the county’s multi-faceted disaster response activities.

As the decision was made and the budget passed for the new facility, it became apparent that it was time to upgrade the existing call processing solution to one that has proven next-generation 9-1-1 capabilities. Previously contracted with another provider, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office wanted a more robust solution that would deliver overall satisfaction, reliability and redundancy.

Solution

With 34 call taker positions, receiving 9-1-1 and administrative calls as well as dispatching first responders (such as deputies, fire personnel and EMS) was becoming a daunting job, as the existing system did not have all the capabilities needed. It was at that time that Collier County ESC met with PlantCML®, an EADS North America company.

Based on the quantity of incoming calls, the number of call takers and the growing population, it was apparent that Collier County ESC needed a new call processing solution to fulfill their current needs and move toward the next generation of call processing. VESTA® CS1000 is an IP-enabled, NextGen-ready call processing solution combining PlantCML’s proven Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) solution, VESTA®, with Nortel’s Communication Server 1000 High Availability (HA), providing seamlessly integrated voice and data communications. This advanced solution allows the Collier County Sheriff’s Office call takers to easily control a variety of critical applications from a single consolidated desktop.

“My primary concern was the ease of use and efficiency from the call taker’s standpoint. In addition to that, I wanted to ensure that they had the latest NextGen call processing software available,” said Bob Finney III, technical manager of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. “PlantCML was able to provide us with a user-friendly design and an IP-enabled platform with superior skills-based routing ACD functionality, along with a data management application for the supervisors and managers. Direct integration with Tyco Electronics® C3 Maestro radio consoles provides for a robust 9-1-1 workstation. This solution will allow us to better serve the citizens of Collier County for years to come. The option to accept video, TTY, SMS and texting will be available to meet the community’s expectations. Soon to be deployed will be PlantCML’s advanced call center information-management application Aurora™.”

The Emergency Services Center is resistant to a Category 5 hurricane, withstanding winds greater than 155 mph and storm surge flooding of more than 22 feet. Even with those extra security building measures, they decided to have built-in redundancies. This “no-single-point-of-failure” system includes two of everything for redundancy and survivability. Thanks to new technology from PlantCML, this new center will service this vital area for many decades.

Published in Public Safety IT, Jan/Feb 2010

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