Virginia County Deploys Remote 9-1-1 Call-Taking Capability
Thursday, January 14, 2021 | Comments

The Arlington County (Virginia) Emergency Communications Center (ECC) became one of the first centers in the nation to implement capabilities that allow fire and EMS dispatchers and supervisors to deliver critical emergency communications services no matter where they are.

Arlington fire and EMS dispatchers and supervisors are now able to work from a remote location, including from home. New capabilities in the 9-1-1 system allow for remote call-taking, dispatch and supervision, breaking new ground in decentralizing and distributing public-safety emergency communications.

These upgrades, supported by FirstNet, Microsoft and Motorola Solutions, provide redundancy and resiliency to continue operations even when employees cannot physically report to a traditional 9-1-1 center. Emergency communications professionals can dispatch life-saving resources to residents even while facing a variety of hazards that would have previously disrupted their work.

These new capabilities also build upon the combined Arlington County/Alexandria City next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) system that was deployed in the fall 2019 to provide additional resiliency and more accurate call routing. Delivery of emergency communications services to the public and to first responders is critical to the health and safety of communities. It demands innovative approaches to ensure continuity of operations.

“Pandemics, natural disasters, major weather events and significant man-made events do not respect the constraints of the traditional delivery of 9-1-1 services,” said Dave Mulholland, administrator of the Arlington County ECC. “Over the past year, we’ve learned that we must be able to provide critical services even when the traditional brick-and-mortar center is not available. We look forward to continuing to serve the Arlington community and leading the industry with the rollout of this new technology.”

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