TOPEKA, Kan., July 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Emergency call dispatchers across Kansas will soon have faster and more reliable access to vital 9-1-1 caller information thanks to an agreement with AT&T.*
The Kansas 9-1-1 Coordinating Council has awarded a contract to AT&T to provide a "Next Generation 9-1-1" emergency communications system across the state. Next Generation 9-1-1 is an Internet Protocol (IP)-based system. It is designed to provide access to emergency services from virtually all connected communications sources. It also provides multimedia data capabilities for 9-1-1 call centers, often referred to as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), and other emergency service organizations.
AT&T will use cloud, wireless and wireline technology to improve 9-1-1 services. The new system will also include Airbus DS Communications' easy-to-use and highly flexible VESTA® 9-1-1 call processing solution.
The Kansas 9-1-1 Coordinating Council expects the new Next Generation 9-1-1 system to boost the speed, security and reliability of communications between operators, dispatchers and first responders. It can support the state's 348 call taking positions and 117 PSAPs and allow seamless communication between cities, counties and municipalities.
AT&T will create a private cloud service in its highly secure data centers to support the new system. 9-1-1- call takers will access the cloud via secure high-speed connection. First responders, PSAP dispatchers and operators will have nearly instant access to 9-1-1 event data from virtually any connected location. It is expected the system will support capabilities such as Text-to-9-1-1 and multimedia messaging in the future.
Tornados and other catastrophic events can disrupt 9-1-1 operations. Kansas' Next Generation 9-1-1 system will include business continuity protections. It will allow operators to log in, manage calls and dispatch emergency services from any PSAP linked to the system.
The new 9-1-1 system is expected to improve emergency response capabilities statewide, allowing individuals in rural areas to receive the same level of service as their big city counterparts in Kansas City and Wichita.
AT&T will manage the service, easing the IT responsibilities for the state's PSAPs. PSAPs that use the new service can also use AT&T's nationwide 4G LTE network as backup where accessible.
"Our next-generation 9-1-1 service will help ensure the citizens of Kansas that we are using the most efficient and reliable technology for emergency communications," said Dick Heitschmidt, chairman of the Kansas 9-1-1 Coordinating Council. "The new service will support coordinated communications across PSAPs; if one goes offline another can immediately take over."
Hutchinson-Reno County Emergency Communications and Cowley County Emergency Communications will be the first two PSAPs brought on to the statewide system during summer 2015.
State of Kansas PSAPs interested in joining the state system will have to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Council. The memorandum sets the expectations of the Council for the PSAPs and the responsibilities of the Council to the PSAPs. For more information, PSAPs should contact: Scott Ekberg, NG9-1-1 Administrator, 785-438-8440, firstname.lastname@example.org or; Randall White, NG9-1-1 Program Manager, 913-485-991, email@example.com.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
About Airbus DS Communications
Airbus DS Communications, an Airbus Defense and Space Holdings, Inc. company, is a global leader and trusted source for mission-critical communications technologies. The VESTA® product suite provides Next Generation 9-1-1 call processing systems, land mobile radio solutions and emergency notification applications, keeping people connected when it matters most.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) helps millions of people and businesses around the globe stay connected through leading wireless, high-speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. We're helping people mobilize their worlds with state-of-the-art communications, entertainment services and amazing innovations like connected cars and devices for homes, offices and points in between. Our U.S. wireless network offers customers the nation's strongest LTE signal and the nation's most reliable 4G LTE network. We offer the best global wireless coverage.* We're improving how our customers stay entertained and informed with AT&T U-verse® TV and High Speed Internet services. And businesses worldwide are serving their customers better with AT&T's mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.
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Reliability and signal strength claims based on nationwide carriers' LTE. Signal strength claim based ONLY on avg. LTE signal strength. LTE not available everywhere.
*Global coverage claim based on offering voice and data roaming in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier, and offering the most wireless smartphones and tablets that work in the most countries.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.