Winston Salem, NC (PRWEB) September 25, 2007
Winston-Salem, NC (PRWEB) September 25, 2007 -- A recent call to the 9-1-1 center in Mitchell County, GA, came from a man who had started his afternoon with a routine garbage burning had gone awry. The caller was in the middle of a field on his cell phone an unable to give detailed information on where he was located. However, thanks to InterAct Geographic Information System, a Phase II compliant 911 geographic mapping system, dispatchers were able to pinpoint the man's exact location and direct fire services out to extinguish the flames within minutes.
When Clark Harrell was hired as director of the 9-1-1 call center in 2000, one of his first tasks was to select a GIS that could meet the growing county's needs. He researched and chose mapping software from InterAct Public Safety Systems, a leading provider of public safety technology used by local, state, national and international agencies.
"After all the research that was done, BellSouth (now AT&T) and InterAct really seemed like the way to go," said Harrell. "The ease of training was one of the things that really stood out. The software is so user friendly. We can instantly provide call origin locations from land lines and cell phones. I could bring in a dispatcher from another center, and within minutes they can be dispatching with confidence, even if they don't know the geography of the county. The mapping software is the most important resource for any PSAP in the nation because it identifies the location and origin of 911 calls. It makes all the difference in the world."
When handling each call, dispatchers view a dynamic map display that shows caller locations (wired and wireless), incidents, units, landmarks and any other geographic-based data. The longitude and latitude coordinates of callers are instantly displayed on the dispatcher's screen, along with the phone number of the caller. This is ideal for situations where the caller is lost or disoriented and unable to identify their own location. This technology proves vital in emergency response services. "Every PSAP in the nation should have this," Harrell said.
The maps are extremely detailed thanks in part to InterAct's expert Mapping and Addressing services team. State route roads are identified by name and color-coded based on type, differentiating between county-maintained roads and dirt roads. Each caller's location is identified with a street name and cross references, so dispatchers can direct emergency responders to the exact site in question. InterAct's GIS software also indicates each fire district on the map, so that dispatchers are sure to alert the closest fire department when an alarm is activated.
Mitchell County also deployed Automatic Vehicle Locators (AVL) in six of its ambulances, allowing dispatchers to not only track the location of the ambulance, but to also talk to those in the responding ambulances as they are en route to the scene of a call. If the ambulance passes an address that may not be clearly marked, dispatchers, tracking them on the map, can direct them to the correct location. "This is something that isn't widely used in Georgia or even nationwide, so we are very pleased to have this kind of capability," said Harrell.
Harrell is now a sought after consultant by area 911 centers. To date, he has assisted three counties with the selection of software for their 911 centers. "There are certainly other companies out there, but I have yet to see one that has a map as user friendly," said Harrell. "I would not dream of working in a 911 center without InterAct."
About InterAct Public Safety Systems
Since 1975, InterAct Public Safety Systems has been Making Connections for Life™ providing both stand-alone and fully integrated mission-critical public safety and homeland security systems and products. As the pioneers of the first three-screen E911 system 20 years ago, our passion for innovation is leading the way to Next Generation telephony, dispatch, records management, and mobile data systems. We're extending the definition of public safety with unique applications like intelligent digital video surveillance, alert notification, and crisis management systems. InterAct makes it possible for first responders from private, state, local and national agencies to decrease response times and increase their effectiveness in the communities they serve. InterAct is also an ISO 9001:2000 certified company. Learn more at http://www.interact911.com or by calling 1-800-768-3911.
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