ONESolution Delivers Smart, Responsive Dispatch Integration to Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks, Alaska’s remote location in the interior of the state poses unique challenges to public safety agencies. Extreme winter weather complicates difficult situations already faced by first responders – remote access routes become virtually impassable by heavy snow; equipment can be crippled by ice; and visibility reduces to dangerously low levels during the long, dark winters.
Along with these challenges, the city’s Emergency Communications Center answers and responds to emergency calls from the Fairbanks North Star Borough which encompasses a land area of more than 7,400 square miles. The center provides services to two law enforcement agencies, and approximately 18 fire and EMS agencies.
The center chose ONESolution public safety software by Superion to meet these unique challenges. ONESolution delivered the power of seamless integration to the center’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD), records management (RMS), mobile computing (MCT) and Freedom mobile app in one comprehensive solution.
“ONESolution is built from the ground up to work together. It’s truly integrated rather than many suites just interfaced together,” states Stephanie Johnson, Dispatch Center Manager.
This comparatively smaller organization had to “do more with less while covering a vast geographic area,” according to Johnson. ONESolution helped the center overcome jurisdictional and communication barriers by enabling a centralized command approach to critical situations. Powerful mapping tools, common data structures, intuitive crime analysis, and versatile mobile technology – all integrated within ONESolution – provided seamless access to critical information.
“We have separate agencies that require resources from adjacent agencies or across our borough,” adds Johnson. “It’s very easy for us to build response plans that work seamlessly through the CAD system to the MCT and to the Freedom mobile app, and then the communication gets back into the dispatch center.”
The city’s fire, EMS and law enforcement agencies harnessed the power of mobility with the Freedom mobile app and MCT. Freedom delivered core functionality of CAD and RMS directly into authorized smartphones and tablets. This freed first responders from the confines of a desk or office as they kept abreast of alerts, dispatch, status, GPS location, and more. MCT offered access to voiceless dispatch, status updates, car-to-CAD messaging, among other features, via wireless-enabled, mobile technology that was easily transported.
“The Freedom mobile app lets our officers get out of the patrol car, scan drivers’ licenses, or talk with the public,” explains Johnson. “MCT can stay in the car or go inside the building. So when it gets to -40° outdoors, our officers can evaluate and use whichever tool is best for the situation.”
Superion staff understood the challenges of modernizing the center’s cumbersome pen to paper process initiated in 1999. Following a recent system update in 2009, dedicated project management teams ensured the center met key tasks prior to ONESolution implementation, while technical and training staff provided essential support throughout the process.
“The Superion staff has really been there for us,” said Johnson. “We still have great rapport with the original trainers who came up. It’s been great for us.”
Implementation of ONESolution has since allowed the center to go completely mobile. With this added benefit, the center has overcome the obstacles posed by a hazardous climate and rugged environment.
“We got valuable information from everything we did with the system,” said Johnson. “On day one, when we turned on the switch, it really made a big impact for our center in terms of what this could do for us.”