In the photo: A screenshot of what dispatchers see in the Vesta short message service telecommunications system.
The Fairfax County, Va., Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) operates the largest Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in the state. The department continues to upgrade its technology to meet public expectations and population growth.
Recently the county awarded its Next Generation 911 (NG911) contract to General Dynamics Information Technology, headquartered in Fairfax County, to develop, deploy and provide maintenance and support for the county’s 911 communications setup. One of the components in the new system is VESTA 911 call handling equipment, provided by Temecula, Calif.-based Airbus DS Communications.
Fairfax County first used VESTA equipment in 1992. Since that time, the county’s population has grown by nearly 40 percent to more than 1.1 million residents.
“The VESTA 911 solution not only enhances our call center’s previous capabilities, but now provide us the opportunity to be NG 911 ready,” Steve McMurrer, the county’s 911 System Administrator, says. “By taking this next step, we can ensure our community continues to have the most advanced and dependable 911 services for years to come.”
The VESTA 911 architecture supports the primary and alternate 911 centers and the three secondary answering points in the county. The system enables enhanced emergency 911 information collection, and improved capabilities for cooperative processing and resource sharing.
With the upgrade, Fairfax County will be better prepared to implement the growing functionalities of NG911 that keep communities and first responders safe. NG911 enhancements include new forms of communication, including short message service (SMS) text messages and, later, multimedia messages.
The switch to the new VESTA 911 system is expected to take place in mid-2017.
Go here for information on Airbus DS Communications.