Cassidian Communications Next Generation, Geo-Diverse 9-1-1 Solution Provides Relief When Storm Darkens Virginia Call Center

Temecula, Calif.,16 August 2012

  • No disruption in 9-1-1 service when James City County Emergency Communications Center loses power in recent storm
  • Geo-diverse Sentinel® Patriot® 9-1-1 call processing solution ensures no single point of system failure
  • Ability to deploy backup positions at York-Poquoson-Williamsburg Emergency Communications Center ensured uninterrupted call taking

Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, announces that its geo-diverse Sentinel® Patriot® call processing solution provided flawless service when the James City County Emergency Communications Center (ECC), Va., lost power in recent summer thunderstorm. Thunderstorms are nothing new in Virginia, but the York-Poquoson-Williamsburg and James City County Regional Emergency Communications Network is better prepared than ever to deal with these natural events.

The late-July severe thunderstorm activity left the James City County ECC without electricity from the primary power source. The short-term, backup power source initiated as designed; however the long-term backup power source failed. When the batteries in the short-term power source depleted, the center lost power and went dark.

Prior to the James City County ECC losing power, several backup positions were filled at the York-Poquoson-Williamsburg ECC in the adjacent county. The call takers logged into the geo-diverse Sentinel Patriot solution as they immediately began receiving and processing calls from James City County residents.

“Observing the simplicity of setting up the James City County call takers in our facility was gratifying for everyone involved as it confirmed the value of the careful planning that was done when implementing our Sentinel Patriot solution. Not a single emergency call for service was lost and the system functioned as designed,” said Terry Hall, Chief of Emergency Communications, York-Poquoson-Williamsburg Emergency Communications Center.

According to Tal Luton, fire chief, James City County ECC, “Summer thunderstorms are typical in our area and we can never predict where lightening will strike. If we lose power again, our residents can be rest assured that our call center is equipped with the most progressive call processing system that provides consistent and dependable service under any circumstance.”

The Sentinel Patriot solution’s IP architecture, designed expressly for next generation (NG) 9-1-1 applications, is based on current and evolving critical communications technologies and standards. This allows for the sophisticated design of backup, disaster recovery and overflow operations with the assured ability to provide reliable service under unexpected conditions. The geo-diverse deployment model provides maximum system survivability, and the efficient network architecture design minimizes data traffic and bandwidth usage for ongoing cost savings.

“The recent system upgrade at the York-Poquoson-Williamsburg ECC and the James City County ECC to our redundant, geo-diverse Sentinel Patriot solution enables the call centers to act as backup centers, seamlessly and efficiently,” said Jeff Wittek, chief strategic officer, Cassidian Communications. “The call handling system functioned flawlessly and without interruption during the storm as telecommunicators dealt with calls for service from residents of both counties.

The York-Poquoson-Williamsburg ECC is equipped with 17 call taking positions and received approximately 325,000 calls for service in 2011. The call center is responsible for answering emergency calls from the more than 100,000 residents from the region and dispatching for the various public safety agencies within the county.

The James City County ECC, with 12 call taking positions, answered over 150,000 calls for service in 2011 from the county’s 70,000 residents and is responsible for dispatching emergency calls to the local police, fire and EMS departments within James City County. The James City County ECC also monitors the Surry Nuclear Power Plant Warning System.

Cassidian Communications continues to serve clients ranging from public safety operations to Fortune 1000 corporations to federal agencies. Collectively, the company has more than 40 years of experience deploying 9-1-1 call processing solutions, notification solutions and first responder digital trunked radio networks.

About Cassidian Communications

As one of the largest and most trusted sources of mission critical communications solutions, Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, is leading the way in standards-based NG9-1-1 call center applications, notification solutions and services, and P25 land mobile radio systems. Cassidian Communications is headquartered in Temecula, California.

About EADS North America

EADS North America is the U.S.-based operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense, and related services. EADS contributes more than $12 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports over 220,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers. EADS North America, headquartered in Herndon, Va., offers a broad array of advanced solutions to meet U.S. military and commercial requirements, including fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, homeland security systems, public safety communications, defense electronics and avionics, and threat detection systems.

Media Contact:

Michael Doerk
Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America Company
Tel.: 469.365.4989