Posts tagged Services
MAYVILLE – The numbers 9-1-1 are more than just numbers. They can be one of the few things between life and death.
When those numbers are dialed, on the other end of the phones are extremely well-trained individuals whose job it is to help people through emergencies and get help to them as fast as possible.
The county’s 911 call center is the “nerve center” of all the emergency services in the county.
According to Marv Cummings, senior communications officer for the dispatch center, “it is the hub of activity for the county.”
“We are the answering point for all emergency services in the county except for the village of Fredonia and the city of Dunkirk,” he said. “If you call 911 from a cell phone or a home phone this is where it gets answered. We are pretty much the quarterback of the department.”
Sheriff Joseph Gerace said that the call center handles all 911 and other emergency calls and radio traffic for the county.
“They really are the nucleus of the emergency response system, from the first call that comes in, through coordination of the entire event,” he said. “It is a critical function of public safety.”
Among the programs that are used by the center is the enhanced 911 program, which provides much information from a simple phone call.
“It gives us not only the caller’s voice, but also a data stream that comes with that call that provides the name of the party that the phone is registered to, their specific address, the appropriate fire, police and EMS providers.” said Gerace.
The data stream the systems gives the dispatcher displays many different types of information.
“We are able to pinpoint your exact locations using the GPS off of your cell phone, so we are able to tell where each person is calling from,” said Cummings. “If you call 911, it displays the name of the person or company that is calling, their address, and I am able to send them help.”
This helps dispatch immensely, he said.
“When the weather is bad, when there is a big storm in Chautauqua County, a lot of cars go off the road,” he said. “A lot of travelers who come into the county on (Interstate) 86, they go off the road, they have no idea where they are at, they call 911 on their cell phone, we have to find out where they are at. We can find their locations using the coordinates off their phone and then send them help,” he said.
This is part of the system called computer-aided dispatch, or CAD.
“In most cases we can acquire the longitude and latitude of the call and it is accurate within approximately 100 meters of the caller’s actual location, which can be a lifesaver if people do not know where they are or are unable to communicate their location to us,” Gerace said. “It connects to our computer-aided dispatch systems, which we have even more information available, including hazardous situations that may be present at that address. It then allows us to look up for instance if there is a wanted person at that address, if there have been previous incidents within a short period of time, if there is a gun registered to somebody at that house, if there are any associated hits, for instance somebody who might be an associate of another person, usually this a criminal matter, it would give us that heads up.”
The CAD system also interfaces with the National Crime Information Center.
“All of our mobile computers in the patrol cars are connected to dispatch, so they can actually silently dispatch a car and get response back from the field without going over the radio,” said Gerace. “Normally that is not done, it is only in certain situations that we use silent dispatch, and that would be if there is reason to believe the perpetrator is monitoring police frequencies.”
The department also uses a system called automated vehicle locators to see units in real time on a map, which they use to determine who is the closest to an incident and dispatch them as soon as possible.
“We can see where the patrol cars are at any given time throughout the county, which is a huge benefit to the safety of the officers on the street and also the deployment of the resources, because they can see who is closest to the call and coordinate responses when you have multiple agencies responding,” said Gerace.
STAFF AND PEAKS
Twenty full-time employees and 10 part-time employees staff the center.
During peak times, said Cummings, six people staff the center, and during other times, four people are there to take calls. The center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“In this room, we have one person dedicated to dispatching the Sheriff’s Department and all the outlying departments, like the town of Ellicott, Westfield Police and Silver Creek Police, we have one person who is dedicated to the city of Jamestown Police Department and the Lakewood-Busti Police Department, and we have one person dedicated to fire,” said Cummings. “He does all the volunteer fire departments and the city of Jamestown Fire Department.”
According to Cummings, it is normally the busiest in the center from 9 a.m. until 3 a.m., and usually it is a little bit quieter from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m.
“The 911 phone doesn’t really stop ringing. We get hundreds of 911 calls a day that come into this office,” he said. “When the weather is bad outside, when we have a storm, this place is total chaos, you can imagine how busy this place can get. There is very little downtime in this office, the phones pretty much never stop.”
Hundreds of calls flood the center each day, said Cummings.
In 2010, the center received 59,000 emergencies calls. This does not include the administrative calls they also handle.
“They handle tens of thousands of 911 calls a year,” said Gerace. “And many more administrative calls. It is estimated we take 10 times as many admin calls.”
The center handles communications for Westfield Police, Lakewood-Busti Police, Silver Creek Police and Jamestown Police.
Daily the center deals with a few hundred calls a day, in 911 emergencies only.
“During the daytime, we take a lot of calls from people that are checking on incidents that happened on a previous shift, at night time. accident records, they have to talk to investigators about previous incidents, all those calls come into this office,” said Cummings. “You go from low one minute to high the next. You can be taking a report of a stolen bicycle one minute to a woman’s mother who is not breathing, and having to walk them through CPR.”
“Over the years there has been significant consolidation of dispatch services, mostly due to economics,” said Gerace.
In the 1970s, Lakewood, Falconer, Silver Creek, Jamestown, Dunkirk and Fredonia all had their own dispatchers. Over time these consolidated.
On Jan. 8, 2004, the city of Jamestown’s communication center consolidated with the county.
“That was about a five-year process,” said Gerace. “The whole planning and merging, consolidating databases and doing all the technological connectivity and merging employees, that took a considerable amount of time. We got down to minutia so detailed that we can even open and close the garage bay doors in the fire stations and police stations, we can do that from Mayville.”
HOW IT WORKS
The time it takes from taking the call to dispatching calls is instantaneous, both Gerace and Cummings said.
“We have a system of call takers and dispatchers, but it is a small area so the call taker, while they are entering the call, they are telling the dispatchers to dispatch,” said Gerace.
At peak times, three people act as call takers, who take and enter the information and forward it to the dispatcher who dispatches the resources.
“Once the dispatcher gets the information on his screen, they will decide how many police cars if it is a police matter, need to respond,” said Cummings. “If it is a medical emergency or fire, it is all predetermined which to dispatch.”
Dispatchers are also constantly in contact with judges, utility companies, wrecker services and coroner.
WHAT TO EXPECT
For those who call 911, many questions will be asked to determine the nature of the emergency and what resources need to respond.
The first question will be “Where are you?”
“When you call 911, be prepared to give an exact location and the exact problem you are calling about, those are the two biggest important questions,” said Cummings.
Once the location is verified, dispatchers determine the nature of the emergency.
“They would ask certain questions of the caller, and may instruct them to perform certain pre-arrival functions, like CPR or the Heimlich,” said Gerace.
Depending on what type of emergency it is, if it is police related, they are going to ask a lot of questions, said Cummings.
“We are going to try to figure out what the problem is, what kind of help we need to send you,” he said. “If it is a medical emergency, we are able to provide pre-arrival instructions. For instance if you call 911 and someone is having a medical emergency, the dispatcher is going to ask you questions to pinpoint what the problem is. If it uncontrolled bleeding, we are prepared to tell you how to control the bleeding; if its a person who is not breathing, we are prepared to walk you through CPR.”
The greatest challenge, according to Cummings is remaining calm.
“If someone calls and is excited or hysterical, if you are the same way, it is not going to help the situation,” said Cummings. “Most people that call in medical emergencies are hysterical. So the first thing we need to do is calm the person down, so they can answer some simple questions we have for them. If a person is hysterical and screaming on the phone it is very hard for us to get them to calm down and answer the questions we need to answer before we can send them help. We need to break that threshold so to speak.”
Another challenge is knowing the county.
“You really have to know the entire county as far as the geographics,” he said. “The better you know the county, the easier your job is going to be.”
“They have to be knowledgeable of the county, how to multitask and how to stay calm during very stressful situations,” said Gerace. “It can go from 0 to 100 instantly. It can go from calm to one of the most significant events of their career.”
Assisting those on the other end of the phone in medical matters can also be challenging.
“We have assisted delivering babies over the phone, we have successfully assisted people using the Heimlich maneuver, performing CPR so our people have to be proficient in those areas,” said Gerace. “It is hard enough to do it at the scene, to instruct somebody to do it over the telephone and verify it is being done right presents an even greater challenge.”
Deputy Minister for Communication, Science and Technology Charles Kitwanga has said that the ongoing installation of an optic fibre cable will improve telecommunications in the country.
Kitwanga made the remarks in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday during his visit to Airtel Tanzania as part of his familiarisation tour of mobile phone service providers in the country.
He said through the information and communication backbone, mobile phone subscribers across the country will benefit from better services.
“Mobile phone service companies should connect to the optic fibre to improve their services, in realizing its important to the companies,” the minister noted.
He said it was very important to connect to the communication backbone now that more people were using mobile phone services even in remote areas where a few years ago there was none.
For his part, Airtel managing director Sam Elangalloor congratulated the government for its decision to support installation of the optic fibre cable.
“Tanzania is among a few countries with the information, communication and technology broadband backbone. We are proud of the government for sponsoring the project for the benefit of its people,” he said.
Early this year, a senior government official said that installation of the optic fibre cable would be completed at the end of this year.
The project was launched in 2008 and is expected to cost about 251bn/- upon its completion.
Phase 1 came on stream in July 2010 and covers the northern ring of the network with ten Points of Presence (PoP), which includes Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Singida, Iringa, Babati, Arusha, Namanga, Moshi and Tanga.
Phase 2 of the rollout is expected to be completed by December 2011, and will provide operational PoPs at Lindi, Mtwara, Tunduru, Songea, Sumbawanga, Tabora, Kigoma and Manyovu.
TransACT has secured the right to provide mobile solutions in the Whole-of-Government (WoG) mobile services panel. It joins Telstra, Optus and Teledesign Australia on the panel.
Federal government agencies can approach TransACT on requirements surrounding mobile voice and data facilities, mobile handsets, mobile broadband modems and accessories along with associated services.
The company was recently appointed to the Australian government’s Telecommunications Commodities, Carriage and Associated services panel, which is managed by the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).
“Our appointment to the panel demonstrates the confidence that the federal government has in TransACT to provide a wide range of reliable mobile phone solutions,” TransACT CEO, Ivan Slavich, said in statement.
“TransACT has experienced a surge in demand for our mobile services in the last year, with our mobile customer base building more than 20 per cent. We continue to invest in our mobile business to ensure innovative service delivery.”
TransACT currently supplies a range of telecommunications services to more than 50 Federal and state government agencies.
The second phase will see coverage extend to remote villages and roads in the north leading to complete coverage of the country, linking the whole of Iraq to the rest of the world. Furthermore, Zain will now include Kurdish alongside Arabic and English as its local languages.
Commenting on the news, Zain Group CEO, Nabeel Bin Salamah said, “The expansion of our services to Kurdistan is another example of our pioneering spirit. Zain was founded on the principles of connecting people through the power of mobile communications and we have shown that not only are we helping rebuild a great country but we are also touching the lives of individual people at the same time. From today onwards, more people will be part of our ‘wonderful world’.”
Zain Iraq CEO, Emad Makiya, said, “The coverage of Kurdistan will not only be welcomed by the local population, it will play key role in spurring business and accelerate the pace of construction and reconstruction. Only the oil industry has invested more in the region and this surely must demonstrate our commitment to playing a key role in the rehabilitation of this great nation.”
Individual customers in Kurdistan can now take advantage of Zain services which offers a competitive flat rate of 1.25 Iraqi dinars per second to all networks within Iraq, as well as “Business Plus”, a service for companies and institutions as well as individuals, to help them to smoothly run their businesses.
Zain hi-tech infrastructure has meant that millions of Iraqi customers have already taken advantage of a wide range of services. Now, increased security and stability has meant that the company can now expand and improve its network.
In Kurdistan, Zain has established points of sale and has trained local employees to meet the high standards expected from its staff.
It has also prepared a broad CSR program to support civil society institutions in the region and is looking forward to being a model corporate citizen in the community.
CHANDIGARH: The city has no toll-free emergency number or helpline for calling up an ambulance. The medical emergency number, 102, is not operational for 24 hours and it works only for Government Multi-specialty Hospital in Sector 16. Though all the mobile phone companies have an in-built provision for emergency calls, UT administration is not doing its bit regarding this.
The city, which has a small area, has 25 ambulances available to help patients. However, just five of six are functioning at any given time as there is an apparent paucity of drivers.
While Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have a dedicated toll-free number, 108, for reporting any of the three kinds of emergencies ‘ medical, police or fire, the concept has not been introduced in Chandigarh.
‘As the city is not too big, it does not need an ambulance fleet,’said UT’s director (health services) Dr Chander Mohan.
However, just building trauma centres in the city cannot work effectively until ambulance services and emergency helplines are provided simultaneously. PGI neurosurgeon Dr Rajesh Chhabra said, ‘There are very few 24-hour ambulances and those too are not strategically placed to reach patients at the earliest possible time. Moreover, there should be training for public and police personnel alike so they can handle emergencies and provide first-aid before calling up an ambulance.’
The Emergency Management and Research Institute, which has started the 108 emergency helpline as a public private partnership, intends to ensure that aid reaches the patients or sites within 15-20 minutes and they are shifted to the nearest hospital within 20 minutes. Reaching the victim in the golden hour is crucial for an emergency medical service provider. The 108-call is received by a communication Officer who collects and records all facts regarding the emergency. The information is then transferred to the dispatch officer who identifies the closest ambulance to the scene of emergency and gives instructions for its dispatch.
PRLog (Press Release) – Feb 07, 2011 – Written by Andrew Pearson, the Director of Marketing at Qualex Consulting Services, Inc. and a five-year Internet and mobile marketing veteran, The Mobile Revolution details how the mobile phone is not only transforming they way people communicate with each other but also how advertisers and marketers are communicating with them. Through SMS text messaging, mobile users can order pizzas, receive mobile coupons, initiate phone calls from click-to-call messages, as well as sign up for text-for-rewards campaigns or text reminders.
The Mobile Revolution shows readers how mobile technology’s inherent ability to create a highly personal, instant two-way connection between purchaser — or potential purchase — and seller is something that has never been seen before in the history or commerce. It reveals how companies must create a multiscreen, always on strategy that follows its audience throughout their digital day or possibly love their customers altogether. The Mobile Revolution explains how mobile advertising has the potential to revolutionize the retail industry by personalizing the shopping experience for every buyer. In this changed world, a consumer will be seen as a participant not as a ‘target audience.’ With blogs, vlogs, social networks, message boards and viral messaging, advertisers are now faced with a radically different marketing landscape than they were just a few short short years ago and The Mobile Revolution argues that not only must they adapt but they must adapt quickly if they want to retain their fickle and technologically savvy customers.
The mobile revolution has begun and it will be mobilized, localized, socialized and personalized. The Mobile Revolution argues that those who recognize it will be richly reward, while those who don’t may find themselves facing a future as bleak as those who stood on the wrong side of history in other revolutions; in both cases their fall predicated on a lack of imagination of what could have been.
More information on the book can be found here: www.the-mobile-revolution.net and the book can be purchased at several publishing websites, including lulu.com — http://www.lulu.com/product/file-download/the-mobile-rev … — and Amazon.com — http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004MDLVOA.
The recent figures from the OECD suggest that the five-day shut-down of internet access in Egypt resulted in direct costs of at minimum US$90 million.
This amount refers to lost revenues due to blocked telecommunications and Internet services, which account for around US$18 million per day, or, on a yearly scale, for roughly 3-4% of GDP.
Though, this amount does not include the secondary economic impacts which resulted from a loss of business in other sectors affected by the shutdown of communication services e.g. e-commerce, tourism and call centres. The IT services and outsourcing sector in Egypt has been a growing part of the economy and relies heavily on the Internet and communications networks.
IT outsourcing firms in Egypt made US$1 billion in revenues in 2010 (or around US$ 3 million per working day), servicing overseas customers through call centres, helpdesks, etc.
The longer term impact of the Internet and communications shutdown on Egypt’s economy is hard to assess.
The shutdown may impact negatively on foreign direct investment in the ICT sector and industries that rely on stable communications and the Internet. The loss of connectivity for five days to these vital business services could make them reconsider overall outsourcing plans. Attracting such firms has been a key strategy of the Egyptian government.
Egypt has other sectors that depend on Internet and communications, notably a vibrant tourism sector.
[January 30, 2011]
BRIEF: Phone app connects to state tax services
Jan 30, 2011 (The Sacramento Bee – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) — The State Board of Equalization is offering a new mobile phone application designed to give taxpayers instant access to tax rates and Board of Equalization services.
Among the application’s features: Taxpayers can use their smart phones to find their local tax rates by city or county. There’s also a link to www.geotax.com, where taxpayers can look up sales tax rates statewide, based on an address.
It’s accessible at www.boe.ca.gov.
—— Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.
To see more of The Sacramento Bee, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.sacbee.com/. Copyright (c) 2011, The Sacramento Bee, Calif.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com.
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Emergency services tracked her mobile phone
9:00am Sunday 30th January 2011
A MOTORIST who suffered memory loss when her car crashed 15 feet down a ditch has paid tribute to police who rescued her by pinpointing her mobile phone.
Lara Williams, 39, hit her head on the steering wheel and was trapped semi-conscious after losing control of her car late at night on the A429 near Northleach last September.
The mother-of-two did not know where she was and had severe multiple injuries, but managed to stay calm and phoned Gloucestershire Police.
A member of the control room staff, Will East took her call and spoke to her for more than 40 minutes, as officers struggled to find her in the dark.
They got her “cell site location” down to 4km circle using phone masts in the area. The rescue team then worked their way towards her, shouting her name. They found her in a tree-covered ditch.
Ms Williams, an NHS secretary from Tredworth, Gloucester, cannot remember how she came to be there, or where she was going.
She had banged her head on the steering wheel, suffered a broken hip, a fractured vertebrae and a broken shoulder. A tree branch had thrust through the broken windscreen into her head, causing a deep cut.
Lara was in Cheltenham General Hospital for six weeks hopes to return to work soon.
Paying tribute to her rescuers, Ms Williams said: “I feel humbled to know just how epic the scale of the rescue was – and all for me.
Will East said: “I knew it was very important to keep Lara talking to me because it was essential to locate her as soon as possible.
“For Lara to say that she doesn’t think she would be here now if it wasn’t for me, makes me feel very proud.”
THE mobile phone network was the first to go, shutting about 10am.
It wasn’t just that calls were blocked; it was as if someone had pulled the plug powering the networks. Even the land-line network was patchy. Then the internet stopped working.
By shutting the main internet servers, authorities succeeded in blocking access to the internet for 95 per cent of the population.
And while one state-run television station was providing intermittent coverage of the protests, most channels ignored the them.
By 10am yesterday the mobile phone network was off and the internet remained offline.
Internet traffic volumes in and out of the country collapsed about 12.20am Egyptian time on Friday, web security company Arbor Networks said.
”Rather abruptly, in a co-ordinated fashion, all of the major internet providers that have traffic in and out of Egypt basically withdrew from the internet,” said Craig Labovitz, chief scientist at Arbor Networks.
Facebook, the world’s biggest social networking site, said it was seeing ”only minimal traffic from Egypt”. Google said Egyptians were unable to access the search engine and its YouTube video service, ”or at best are having real difficulty doing so”.
Al-Jazeera television said transmission had to be switched to another frequency as its normal signal was jammed.
The government probably told network providers to ”turn off” connectivity, a legal directive under Egypt’s telecommunications laws, said Jim Cowie of web-monitoring firm Renesys.
Vodafone was ordered to suspend mobile phone services in selected areas. ”Under Egyptian legislation, the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it,” it said. The US State Department said open communications must be allowed. The non-profit Internet Society, an advocacy group based in Geneva and Virginia, said the action was ”an inappropriate response to a political crisis” that ”only serves to fuel dissent and does not address the underlying causes of dissatisfaction”.