There are several interpretations of what ECC interoperability is and does, but for our purposes, it is defined as the electronic exchange of data/information between two or more ECC’s CAD systems via a CAD-to-CAD intelligent hub.
This type of integration is the cornerstone of what might be described as virtual ECC consolidation. Each ECC, while autonomous, is at the same time, part of the regional ECC community with the ability to view, dispatch and interact with all resources and incidents.
This powerful solution raises the productivity and awareness of all participating ECCs to a whole new level. Not only can ECCs transfer phone calls seamlessly between each other, using their 911 systems, but they can now transfer the call content along with it. Furthermore, resources can now be deployed using closest car/unit calculations across the entire region, instead of just localized to one jurisdiction. The information is shared not just between ECCs, all mobile users will have access to valuable data being shared during a mutual aid event; therefore improving situational awareness for everyone. Rural areas would benefit greatly as it is not unusual for an emergency call to occur in an area where the closet until would actually be from another agency. State Police are often the only back up unit for a sheriff officer responding to a domestic call. With a CAD-to-CAD system, the ECC in both of these situations would be able to see the closest unit and from their CAD system request assistance without having to waste valuable time by trying to contact the responding agency via radio or telephone.
A CAD-to-CAD system can also be used by non-public safety entities such as the local Department of Transportation or local energy company. Most CAD-to CAD vendors provide applications or interfaces that can be used by other systems that do not have a CAD system. It allows them to receive requests for service and to update the sender’s CAD system. For example, the ECC needs assistance from their energy company for wires down. From their CAD system they can send the message to the energy company, the company can acknowledge and provide an ETA to the requesting agency. Imagine during a major snowstorm and the ECC receives a report of a vehicle in a ditch and all of their officers are tied up on other incidents. The telecommunicator could look at the regional map and see a DOT snowplow close to that area. The telecommunicator could send a request via their CAD system to DOT requesting that the snowplow truck check on the status of that vehicle in the ditch. The driver stops and finds the car empty. They advise the ECC and the ECC is able to remove that call from their pending window.
CAD-to-CAD technology can decrease the time ECC personnel spend looking for mutual aid assistance therefore allowing them to concentrate on the incident for their center. It has also shown to improve first responder response times by an average of 2 to 3 minutes, and we all know the value of a minute in public safety can mean the difference between life and death.
Winbourne Consulting has been very active in assisting agencies, regions and states in developing needs assessment, governance documents, technical requirements, RFPs, vendor selection and project implementation on CAD-to-CAD projects. We have assisted and/or are assisting on eight CAD-to-CAD projects throughout the United States.
For additional information, contact Winbourne Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org.