According to recent figures, 27 of the 30 most populous U.S. cities now depend on the full-circle security and communications portfolio from emergency communications solution provider Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company.
One of the most commonly installed emergency communications products from Cassidian Communications is the VESTA® emergency call processing system. It was introduced in 1995 and currently is deployed in 30 percent of public safety answering points (PSAPs) in the United States, including populous cities such as Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.
Protecting nearly 50 million citizens, the VESTA® Digital Multiplex System (DMS) call processing solution provides advanced telephony with digital local exchange capabilities to call centers located within five miles of a central office (CO) equipped with a GENBAND DMS-100 Switching System.
“As the only company to offer a full circle of products starting with the 911 call processing applications through P25 land mobile radio dispatch to emergency notification solutions, I am proud to say that approximately 70 percent of all 911 calls in the United States are handled by Cassidian Communications solutions,” said Darrin J. Reilly, chief operating officer, Cassidian Communications. “Our VESTA platform, including the VESTA DMS solution, plays an integral part in that equation.”
The VESTA DMS solution is an “intelligent” telephone console designed to provide additional functionality to the Meridian Electronic Business Set (EBS) utilizing an intelligent windows PC platform. It centralizes call center applications on an open platform and integrates telephony functions with mapping, incident tracking, radio, computer-aided dispatch (CAD), digital logging and third-party applications. Customers include the Philadelphia Police Department’s Communications Division.
“The flexibility of [the] VESTA DMS [solution] allows our call takers and dispatchers to interact with the application and customize their workstation based on their role,” said Sergeant Greg Masi, emergency communications supervisor, City of Philadelphia. “With the amount of calls our center receives during peak times, it is imperative to have a system in place that provides automatic call distribution (ACD) with intelligent call-routing capability, traceable call history and no single point of failure.”
The Philadelphia Police Department is the fourth-largest law enforcement agency in the United States and serves a population of 1.5 million citizens. The communications center, with its 277 dispatchers and 40 call-taking positions, handled more than three million calls for emergency service in 2010. Secondary facilities at the Philadelphia Fire Department and Training Center are equipped with 15 call-taking positions each. Positioned as a backup facility, the Philadelphia City Hall has 47 call-taking positions available for use in the case of a major emergency or event.
The VESTA DMS solution is configured in a mated tandem design, enabling network ACD capabilities with load balancing between two COs, providing geographic redundancy. The system also has a Cassidian Communications custom-built A/B switch designed for call takers to log into either site, allowing redundancy to the desktop. For an additional layer of redundancy, the VESTA DMS solution is designed to operate in a client/server environment, running in network or stand-alone mode.
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 911 call processing solutions, notification solutions and first-responder digital trunked radio networks.