February 28, 2018
- Telex Radio Dispatch solution seamlessly connects over 20 public safety organizations across Sumner County, Tennessee
- C-Soft Software Consoles and IP-224 interfaces connect multiple radios across various platforms including analog, DMR, and P25; scalable network for 911 dispatch operators
- Nashville-based radio and IT specialists CommTech handled the design and integration of the system
The Sumner County Emergency Communications Center (SCECC), was built in order to consolidate all of the public safety dispatch centers located in Sumner County, TN into a single facility in Gallatin, TN. Nashville-based Communications Group Inc., better known as CommTech, was engaged to handle the design and integration of the radio hardware and software. Founded in 1985, CommTech bridges traditional radio communications with the power of I.T. technology to create custom solutions with the reliability that public safety communications require.
CommTech selected the Telex C-Soft console as the backbone of the system. The Telex C-Soft console is a networked-based console that connects the facility’s twenty-nine radios to thirteen dispatch positions via Telex IP-224 RoIP (Radio over Internet Protocol) interface gateways. The Telex IP-224 gateways have the capability of interfacing with a wide variety of radios across multiple platforms, making them the perfect choice for the Sumner County project. The facility utilizes radios on analog, DMR and P25 radio systems to meet the communications needs for all of the agencies dispatched by the SCECC.
Each of the system’s sixteen IP-224 gateways is capable of interfacing two physical radios, accessed via the facility’s IP network. The system is currently capable of handling up to 32 radios, but currently only using 29. This provides them with some room for growth, as well as having “hot stand-by” spares.
Telex Radio Dispatch screen-building capabilities enabled CommTech to create multiple dispatch screens. The main screen provides access to all of the Sumner County fire departments and EMS paging functions, transmit functions, speaker levels, global and emergency history, visual alarm indicators and facility access control buttons. Three additional screens are available, covering Law Enforcement, EMS-EMA-Fire, and Utility. All screens are easily accessible at the click of a button on the main screen at all dispatcher stations.
CommTech systems engineer Brad Adams explains, “The reason for multiple dispatch screens is to keep things simple and focused for the dispatchers. With the large number of agencies being dispatched at the SCECC, simplicity and ease of operation is necessary. The C-Soft Designer software makes such a design possible due to its scalable nature. It is easy to place buttons on the screen, size them, and program their function by way of an easy drag-and-drop interface that helps create a clean, clutter free design and allows the dispatcher to perform most operations in one mouse click. Efficiency is a number one priority for our E911 dispatchers.
In the dispatch center, each position has a radio computer screen accompanied with an audio interface providing connectivity via a wireless headset to the various radio channels as well as to the center’s 911 PSAP. Select and Un-Select speakers and a desk microphone are also included. Each position has a patch panel beneath the console providing home run connectivity to the system hardware in the center’s secured equipment room.
The secured equipment room contains all the radios and their associated IP224 interfaces, connected via a RJ45 patch panel to the C-Soft consoles at each position. The radios include twenty-one Kenwood NX5000, six Hytera MD782’s for their advanced digital mobile radio (DMR) interface and two EF Johnson VM600 800 MHz P25 Trunking radios that provide connectivity to the Metro Nashville and State of Tennessee Radio P25 Trunking Systems.
“We chose that mix of radios because of the superior interfaces that were available through Telex,” says Adams. “It gives us full featured DMR and P25 interfaces, which made Telex a better choice for those particular channels.”
In addition, the site utilizes a Telex NEO-10, a network I/O device used to add building access control along with visual alarms to operator screens. The NEO-10 also monitors the lighting system on the facility’s 150-foot radio tower.
According to Adams, Telex was selected for three primary reasons. “The main reason being its wide range of capabilities and high level of reliability, especially its ability to interface with multiple radio vendors and protocols” he said. “The second was cost, which was very important to Sumner County and Telex provides a great product at a reasonable cost. Thirdly, was our experience with Telex. Having installed several Telex C-Soft consoles previously, we have found that Telex provides a solid product along with great technical support and the people in all departments are great to work with.”
The Telex C-Soft installation succeeded in smoothly combining all of the independent Sumner County dispatch centers into a single Emergency Communications Center. The SCECC serves all of Sumner County’s public safety services, including all law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services. The county has, at this date worked with CommTech to add two additional radio dispatch positions, increasing the total to fifteen. The SCECC administration is planning for expansion to eighteen total dispatch positions, along with a proposed backup site in the future.
15x Telex C-Soft Software Consoles
15x Telex ADHB-4 Advanced Audio Interface Devices
16x Telex IP-224 Radio Gateways
1x Telex NEO-10 I/O Device
Communications Group Inc. (CommTech) www.commtechradio.com
Sumner County Emergency Communications sumnerecc.org