April 25, 2013
For emergency dispatch operations at the Montville, Connecticut Public Safety, which functions under interoperability requirements mandated by the state, interfacing with a variety of radio systems from multiple other agencies is an essential requirement. Until recently, the Department faced this requirement with 12-year-old dispatch system that no longer met their needs in terms of both user-friendliness and interoperability.
With the town constructing a new Public Safety Building
, including a new dispatch center, the opportunity arose to bring the dispatch system up to current standards. In choosing a replacement system, Occhialini says, the department wanted something “user-friendly and not expensive to upgrade. We also wanted a software-based program that could handle multiple agencies without having to purchase additional hardware, and we wanted our system to be IP friendly, with the ability to integrate all of our radio, telephone, recording and cameras into one system.” The recent installation of a new Telex C-Soft IP-based radio dispatch system gives the department precisely the flexibility it needs, and provides a future-proof architecture while comparing favorably with the alternatives on pricing.
Occhialini first experienced the Telex system at a regional training for public safety agencies. “Telex equipment had been purchased at the regional level to integrate all Area 4 dispatch centers and to share radio frequencies,” he says. “We were interested in acquiring the same system so we spoke to Steve Goudreau of Communications Plus, and last spring we went with him to a Bosch Safe and Sound Truck Tour, where we were able to see demos of the Telex equipment.”
Goudreau designed a four-position Telex system designed around C-Soft radio dispatch and signaling consoles, which run as software on network-connected PCs. Headsets for each position are connected using an ADHB-4 advanced digital headset box. In addition to the positions in the dispatch center itself, the system also includes an IP-2002 telephone IP-based console, which can be remotely connected from anywhere with Ethernet access.
The consoles are interfaced to 19 radios — eight Harris Mastr III, five Kenwood TK7180/8180, two M/A-Com Orion, two Motorola Astro Spectra, one Motorola CDM1250 and one Uniden Bearcat scanner — via ten Telex IP-223 dual IP remote adapter panels. Also connected are five NEO-10 network I/O devices, which interface with status devices such as power source monitors at the radio towers and Raytheon JPS voters that select the best-quality input from multiple receivers. Interfacing with these devices enables display of status information on the C-Soft screens.
“Montville actually looked into dispatch systems from several manufacturers,” Goudreau says. “What they found was that Telex handles every function offered by other consoles, though the price of a comparable software-based C-Soft solution is significantly lower.” Now that they have their system, Goudreau adds, “The dispatchers have all been impressed with how simple it’s been to go from a push-button console to an IP-based console. They also like how easy it has been to make changes to the C-Soft screens and to custom-configure system operation.”
Occhialini agrees with Goudreau’s assessment. “The system is working well for us,” he says. “The C-Soft software has met all of our expectations and the system satisfies all of the needs that we were looking to meet. We also like the fact that there’s no fee for software upgrades as they become available. We are hoping to add more equipment in the future as we strive to become a regional dispatch center in New London County. The Telex system will allow us to add more agencies without having to buy additional equipment, and it will allow us to integrate video into our system in the future.”