Shelby County Implements In-Building 9-1-1 Location Technology
Thursday, June 13, 2019 | Comments

Shelby County, Tennessee, conducted the first call leveraging next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) additional data with location-based discovery capabilities to pinpoint the exact location of a caller or device during an emergency and deliver that information to 9-1-1 call takers.

Shelby County buildings are multifloor, multidepartmental offices with key-lock, proximity or biometric access. In many instances, first responders would face an emergency call from a building with eight to 12 floors of 9,000-20,000 square feet each, and multiple rooms, small offices and cubicle areas. They would be forced to navigate this maze with no information as to floor plan, office numbers, service closets and hazardous areas, among other obstacles and route challenges.

Avaya introduced 911 Secure to the county as a proof-of-concept exercise, initially targeting three floors of the main administration building. Avaya IX Workplace with 911 Secure’s SENTRY uses new integration capabilities with the RapidSOS Clearinghouse. Through RapidSOS, first responders can access a building address, the specific endpoint location from which a call was placed, and other critical details such as the square footage of the property, detailed floor plans and which entrance is best to use — all within seconds.

“During the preliminary testing phase, we were immediately impressed with the system’s ability to recognize when an endpoint was relocated from one subnet to another; it was virtually instantaneous, and we could immediately see that one of our issues — endpoint portability — would be resolved,” said Jeff Yallope, manager customer support and telecommunications, Shelby County. “The 911 Secure capability to clearly identify locations by subnet is having a significant and beneficial impact on our network design standards. We now insist on using best practices for all ongoing network moves, adds and changes and are working retroactively to remedy some areas in preparation for a 911 Secure implementation.”

Shelby County plans to expand a complete rollout of 911 Secure’s SENTRY solution to cover the entire main administration building and the remaining seven or eight multilevel county buildings in the downtown Memphis area in the near future.

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