The Forest Park Police Communications Center serves as the central dispatch point for Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, and the Forest Park Emergency Management Agency. FPCC answers about 100,000 emergency and non-emergency telephone calls per year and handling dispatch responsibilities for over 30,000 calls for service. The authorized staff is 7 full time and one part-time telecommunicators and one full time supervisor. Telecommunications is responsible for monitoring 12 radio channels, one alarm board, seven non-emergency lines, and seven emergency lines. In addition to call monitoring, communications personnel also assist in monitoring the jail facilities and overall building security. The Communications Center is the operational hub of the Village.
In 2009, FPCC completed a comprehensive upgrade. Physical changes were made to the center to enhance productivity and increase the level of services to our community. A third dispatch position was added and a major technological upgrade was completed to the radio communications system with a new Zetron Series 4000 Communications Control System.
As part of the upgrade, FPCC chose vendor ISI Computer Aided Dispatch, Records Management, and Mobile Dispatch Application for modernizing our dispatch center record keeping. The new system gives FPCC better control and tracking of critical information. FPCC has the ability to send dispatch information in real time to the patrol units in the field. This greatly assists the officers in their response time to emergent calls.
As a technological leader in the 1970’s, the Village of Forest Park was one of the first communities to offer 9-1-1 emergency response. Since then, the village has continued to enhance its 911 services, including integration of wireless and landline 9-1-1 services. In cooperation with the Forest Park Emergency System Telephone Board, FPCC is planning for Next Generation 9-1-1.
What is Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1)?
The evolution of emergency calling beyond the traditional voice 9-1-1 has proven that our current 9-1-1 system is no longer able to support the needs of the future.
Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9‐1‐1) networks replace the existing narrowband circuit, which carry only voice and very limited data. Currently there are difficulties in translating data such as text messages, images, and video (including support for American Sign Language users). The new system grants easy access to additional information over a common data network, such as telematics data, building plans, and medical information.
In addition, the need for coordinated communications across states, between states, and across international boundaries requires the creation of a more flexible 9-1-1 system with much greater data handling capabilities. A highly standardized system is essential for seamlessly supported communications and data transfer across county, state, and international borders. The common system will coordinate a multitude of emergency response professions and agencies such as: PSAPs to Poison Control Centers, trauma centers, Coast Guard, and disaster management centers.
There will be numerous and varied steps toward the new NG9-1-1 and vendors are already referring to their products as aimed at, enabling, or completely NG9-1-1compliant. Vendors who have direct experience with parts of today’s E9-1-1 system, or are directly involved in NENA and other standards development are starting to produce NG9-1-1 oriented products.
With the direction of standards supporting NG9-1-1 becoming clear, demonstrations and trials are beginning to appear to continue developments. Despite this progress, a fully featured, truly “standards based” NG9-1-1 system is not yet identifiable, as the necessary standards are still in development. As a result, a summary definition of NG9-1-1 as a system and service is needed to clarify its exact qualifications and standards.