Monroe County, Pa., 911 Booting up new Software

The $861,000 computer-aided dispatch software from Tyler Technologies will allow dispatchers to provide responders with a live interface.

by Kevin Kunzmann, Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa. / April 13, 2017

(TNS) - In 1978, the Monroe County Control Center was manually logging incidents. The center would write the details of an emergency call on a card by hand, and file it away in, well, a file.

That was the very first system Gary Hoffman worked with at the control center. Nearly 40 years later, Hoffman is about to work with his third system — but a lot has changed. The control center is planning to implement a state-of-the-art computerized dispatch system that will bolster the communication between the center and its responders.

The $861,000 computer-aided dispatch software from Tyler Technologies will allow dispatchers to provide responders with a live interface. According to the Tyler website, the CAD software includes the company's public safety and courts data "to deliver a 360 degree view of the incident, the associate parties and location information."

How that will equate is real-time directions to scenes, Hoffman said, replacing the former system of in-vehicle computers. Along with directions, mobile units will get an interactive global position system that allows them to see where vehicles are on the map.

This would allow the dispatchers to dictate where responders are in relation to a call, and decide who to send.

"If we engaged that package, it would show the vehicle driving on the map," Hoffman said. "It would show the drivers where they're at and where they're going."

Even more so, responders will be able to manage almost all of their priorities on the same interface. The CAD software provides visual warning alerts, names and address history and verification, automatic call-logging and messaging integration, according to the website. Responding fire units can view building plans, police can receive photos of a surrounding scene and emergency rooms can access the GPS in order to prepare inbound patients, Hoffman said.

"The software and devices could send them maps and the actual dispatch screens," Hoffman said. "It's much more robust than what we have now."

Perhaps more importantly, the software will soothe the seams of responder delegation. Dispatch will be able to specifically select a particular number of vehicles to dispatch to a scene if necessary, Hoffman said.

The software is the same utilized in Carbon and Lackawanna counties, and will also be installed soon by Lehigh Valley agencies. If there's an incident neighboring another jurisdiction, or if help is needed outside the county, MCCC can send incident cards and information to similar systems.

The same could be done in the event of a mass incident or natural disaster, in the event of state or federal agencies being dispatched.

Including the required mobile receivers for every responder unit — which cost about $1,200 each — the entire project will cost about $2 million, Hoffman said. The control center signed on with Tyler at the end of 2016, and has budgeted for whole cost. Once mobile receivers are purchased, the control center will install its new servers.

The program switch is scheduled for December 11, Hoffman said. With consideration to all the changes and possible trouble-shooting, he projected it would be in early spring 2018 that the system will be fully operational.


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