Case Studies:

Henry County Meets Deadline to Consolidate Emergency Phone System

Objective

  • Consolidate three dispatch centers into a single operation

Products Used

Key Benefits

  • Passes tones for FSK, EIA, Pilot/Guard Tone
  • Eliminated losses from failing copper circuits
  • Improved audio quality – 64K uncompressed
  • Issue-free operation since installation
  • Enabled dispatchers across all locations to hear and coordinate the entire county
"The installation of the TC Communications JumboSwitch allowed the telecommunicators to more efficiently handle the radio communications during a severe winter storm in Henry County, II. By having the radio resources available to all dispatchers, no matter which facility they were at, helped by allowing them to hear and coordinate the entire county. During the storm, the Comm centers were extremely busy and knowing what was going on throughout the entire county made the situation much more manageable."
- Lyle Little
Supreme Radio Communications Inc.

The Challenge: New State Mandate Requires Closing Key PSAP

Henry County, IL was operating an Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) comprised of three Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). While all three PSAPs shared the County’s 911 Emergency Telephone system, each worked independently for radio communications, and each was responsible for dispatching its own responders for police, fire and EMS.

In a new mandate, the State of Illinois required counties across the state downsize to a maximum of two PSAPs per county. As a result, Henry County was faced with the challenge of closing one of its centers.

Henry County needed a way to link the radio resources from the closing location to the two remaining PSAPs, making all available resources fully accessible to both. What’s more, the County sought to grow its network into a fully-functioning regional center.

Solution: The Right Equipment + Onsite Training

Henry County approached one of their trusted vendors, Supreme Radio Communications, to create a solution that would leverage the County’s existing leased-line fiber optic connection at all three locations.

First, the local fiber company already servicing Henry County was contacted and the required connections were ordered. Then, the necessary equipment – featuring 3 JumboSwitch® 2U card cages, each equipped with the main/management cards and 2x TC3846-6 cards – was ordered from TC Communications.

Customized Training

To maximize the efficiency of the implementation, TC Communications conducted onsite training sessions, held at SRC’s headquarters in Peoria, with SRC’s technicians to get them up to speed on the installation of the new system. Like all training from TC Communications, sessions were customized to the County’s unique application, and their network was recreated as part of the training.

The new equipment from TC Communications arrived promptly, making it possible for Henry County to make the State’s mandated deadline. The equipment was staged and programmed prior to installation at each location, and installation dates were then scheduled.

The Analog Bridge option was also offered by TC Communications to support the overall solution. With this feature effectively splits communications, allowing other sites to hear traffic when one site is talking.

A One-Stop Shop

From start to finish, TC Communications was integral to the process, from providing appropriate part numbers and units, to designing the solution, to training the users and supporting Supreme Radio Communications implementing the new equipment.

In addition, TC was able to leverage the County’s existing infrastructure investment, so they did not have to absorb the cost of an entirely new system.

The entire installation was seamless and smooth, and entailed minimal downtime for the customer. Only one piece of equipment experienced an issue, and was promptly replaced by TC Communications in less than 24 hours.

TC8928 and JumboSwitch® 2U at Henry County's Cambridge location.
TC’s Analog Broadcaster/Bridge (TC8928) and JumboSwitch® 2U chassis housing the Radio over IP Interface cards (TC3846-6) at Henry County’s Cambridge location

Results: Smooth, Issue-Free Operation

Henry County is very happy with the new system and has experienced no issues whatsoever since the installation. In fact, they are already planning on extending the system to a neighboring county.

Today, all PSAP locations can hear all traffic across the network and, as a result, balance the dispatch load based on available resources – and provide better service to the people.