4-page Case Study
Posted: 6/16/2014
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Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD) New Orleans Improves Emergency Services with Next-Generation Dispatch Technology

Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD), which handles more than 1 million 9-1-1 calls in the New Orleans area, wanted to respond better and faster to emergencies by improving the flow of information between citizens, multiple agencies, and first responders. OPCD implemented Motorola Solutions PremierOne Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and NG9-1-1 integrated call control system based on Microsoft technology including embedded versions of Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server. The solution connects disparate police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) applications, a 9-1-1 call system, mobile devices, and a data warehouse. It also automatically routes incident reports and updates continuously, pushing data to EMS tablets and mobile police terminals. As a result, first responders can act faster and make better, safer choices. Workflow has also improved for dispatchers and field personnel, and OPCD has gained a flexible, extensible platform that easily integrates with new applications and data sources.

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* With a CAD system based on Motorola Solutions and Microsoft technology, we’ve eliminated information silos and ensured that the right dispatcher and responder immediately receive the information needed. *

Karl Fasold
System Administrator
Orleans Parish Communication District

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Situation

(OPCD) is the emergency call administration center for New Orleans, Louisiana, a city with approximately 370,000 citizens and host to millions of tourists each year. OPCD handles more than 1 million 9-1-1 calls annually, routing requests to police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in the field. Since it was established in 1982, OPCD has sought innovative solutions that speed response time and improve the flow of data between agencies.

To improve efficiency, OPCD needed to reduce manual processes. The evolution started with a CAD system in the 1990s that replaced most handwritten records. More recently, the district has looked for ways to streamline workflow for dispatchers by connecting disparate applications and data sources, including the systems used by police, EMS teams, and the fire department.

OPCD needed a future-ready platform. In the past, the district’s challenges included a growing number of landline calls followed by a transition to cellular communication. By the time Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, OPCD had implemented a state-of-the art system for locating wireless callers. Rebuilding after the devastating hurricane and flooding from the failure of the federal levee system, OPCD faced even more challenges. “We took 40 years to get from the first 9-1-1 landline calls to handling cellular,” says Stephen Gordon, Executive Director of OPCD. “But in the eight years since Katrina, we have texting, video conferencing, and social media—and people expect to use all of those technologies to access 9-1-1.”

OPCD needed a solution that could easily handle multiple types of data, including structured database files and unstructured information such as text messages. Ultimately, OPCD required a platform that would help it stay on top of emerging technology trends, as well as work with existing systems. Gordon concludes, “We wanted an easily extensible, highly scalable solution based on common standards.”

Computer Aided Dispatch with Integrated Call Control System
Computer Aided Dispatch with Integrated Call Control System
Solution

OPCD decided to implement a CAD system with integrated call control from Motorola Solutions based on Microsoft technology. The system includes a data warehouse with the Motorola Solutions PremierOne CAD application running on the Windows Server for Embedded Systems operating system and Microsoft SQL Server for Embedded Systems software, and service-oriented architecture based on the Microsoft .NET Framework. The solution also uses SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services to share information with the public safety community.

OPCD already had a long, successful history with Microsoft and Motorola products, and expected that the new CAD system would be reliable and easy to use. In addition, OPCD wanted to take advantage of an end-to-end solution that featured smooth interoperability between database and application servers, external data sources, CAD software, and peripheral devices, as well as strong development support from Microsoft. “I’ve written code in the Microsoft environment, and I know what I need to know, but working with experts who know it like the back of their hand means that you’re going to get it right the first time,” says Karl Fasold, System Administrator for OPCD. “That is why we have so much confidence in working with Microsoft as a trusted partner.”

The PremierOne CAD system, which went live in September 2013, integrates 9-1-1 telecommunications and applications from the EMS, police, and fire departments in a central console. The CAD automatically routes calls to the appropriate dispatcher and alerts the closest first responders, who see the incoming information in real time. OPCD fields calls to 16 police, three EMS, and four fire dispatch positions that handle calls throughout the city. “We have a set of rules built into the system that identify the type of call, the locations, and the personnel and resources required,” explains Fasold. “For example, if the call is routed to the fire department, CAD determines the closest station with available equipment and manpower.”

The calls are also cross-referenced with historical data and a mapping system, and the system notifies the dispatchers and responders of prior incidents at an address or with a person. Multiple calls about the same incident are handled as database transactions and are automatically synchronized and aggregated in a single report.

On the back end, the data warehouse pushes information to paramedics, who access the data on tablets. The paramedics then use the tablets to log additional details about the patient or incident. The CAD works similarly with mobile terminals used by police units sent to stabilize a scene. With one touch, officers can indicate if the scene is safe, or if they need immediate help. The CAD also integrates with the police department’s Corona Solutions, a system that is used to strategically allocate resources to patrol areas, identify crime hot spots, and aid other planning. The system shares data between agencies through a local area network (LAN) managed by the city. The city also gives external public safety vendors access to CAD data through a secure VPN connection. OPCD is currently working with Motorola to integrate capabilities for texting to 9-1-1 within CAD and is exploring options for working with video feeds as well as the statewide radio system, which is also provided by Motorola Solutions and based on Microsoft technology.

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* With a standardized solution based on Microsoft technology, up-to-date information refreshes constantly across multiple systems, so that all responders have the same view of the information at all times. *

Karl Fasold
System Administrator
Orleans Parish Communication District

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Benefits

The integrated CAD and call control system from Microsoft and Motorola means faster response, improved safety, and the elimination of error-prone manual processes. The extensible platform also easily integrates with new applications and data sources.

Improves Response Time and Safety with Real-Time Information

By seamlessly connecting applications and automating the flow of information, OPCD has transformed operations and improved safety for first responders and citizens. “With a CAD solution based on Motorola Solutions and Microsoft technology, we’ve eliminated information silos and ensured that the right dispatcher and responder immediately get the information needed,” says Fasold. “So while you’re on the phone to a 9-1-1 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 observations and any history of prior incidents.”

In addition to improving safety and reducing response times, the solution has improved efficiency for dispatchers and other staff, who can see current information from EMS, fire, and police departments on a single screen. Fasold says, “With a standardized solution based on Microsoft technology, up-to-date information refreshes constantly across multiple systems, so that all responders have the same view of the information at all times.”

The solution saves time and reduces errors by automatically sharing data among disparate systems. “If EMS need police on the scene, they can request help in a few keystrokes by using the CAD system from Motorola and Microsoft,” says Fasold. “They no longer have to call a dispatcher, who would then manually type in the information and initiate an incident for dispatch. That process increased response time and carried the potential for error. Because the incident data is coming directly through the CAD, the correct location has already been mapped and identified for even better accuracy.”

Gains Scalable, Extensible Platform

With products from Microsoft and Motorola, OPCD has designed an innovative solution that easily adapts to new technology trends. “This is a future-ready solution for many reasons,” says Fasold. “Based on a Microsoft data warehouse, the back end is so extensible that I can integrate new technologies and data types such as text messages without having to implement a brand new system or upgrades.”

Create the Internet of Your Things with Intelligent Systems

The Internet of Things is not a futuristic technology; it’s here today. When your enterprise puts together devices, software, cloud services and business intelligence tools from Microsoft, you create the Internet of Your Things. As a trusted technology leader, Microsoft can help you drive business value from new and existing technology assets, devices, and data to create one truly flexible, intelligent system. When you connect your people and your infrastructure, you can change the trajectory of your business in real time.

For more information, visit:

www.InternetofYourThings.com

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:

www.microsoft.com

For more information about Motorola Solutions products and services, call (847) 576-5000 or visit the website at: www.motorolasolutions.com

For more information about the Orleans Parish Communication District, call (504) 671-3911 or visit the website at: www.911nola.org

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview




Organization Profile

Administering emergency calls for the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD) serves approximately 350,000 residents and handles more than 1 million calls annually.


Business Situation

OPCD wanted to respond better and faster to incidents by improving the flow of data between multiple agencies.


Solution

OPCD implemented Motorola Solutions PremierOne CAD and integrated call control based on Microsoft technology including embedded versions of Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server.


Benefits

  • Improves response time and safety with real-time information
  • Optimizes efficiency and workflow by connecting EMS, police, and fire department systems
  • Gains scalable, extensible platform that integrates easily with new data types and sources


Software and Services
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Microsoft .NET Framework

Vertical Industries
Local Government Agencies

Country/Region
United States

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Motorola Solutions

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