Earlier this year, 9COM shared its intention to procure an automated fire station alerting system. This kind of system, which automatically broadcasts the initial incident information to fire and EMS units, is expected to improve overall response times by reducing 9COM’s call processing time. Fire departments will be notified more quickly about new calls for service – potentially as soon as a call taker has obtained a call type and dispatchable address.
The county put out a bid request for such a system in February, and three vendors replied with bids in March. Around the same time, BCSO applied for a grant along with partnering fire departments to fund the project. In May, we received notification that BCSO was awarded the grant. Since the grant requires matching funds, buy-in on the project was required at the county commissioner level.
BCSO Technical Services reviewed the bids from the three vendors and determined that Locution was the only option that met all of our technical requirements. On June 27th, the county commissioners passed resolutions to award the bid to Locution, accept the grant, and agree to move forward with funding the project.
Now that the project is officially underway, a great deal of data needs to be assembled and provided to Locution so they can begin recording the audio files needed to make our automated announcement. They need every street name we will likely send fire or EMS to, every business or landmark name, every unit and unit type… and so on. Technical Services is working with 9COM and neighboring PSAPs to assemble all of this information and provide it to Locution.
We don’t currently have an implementation timeline. More details will follow in the coming weeks.