Fairfax County Transforms 911 Call Handling System, Thanks to Atos Public Safety

By Greg Tavarez April 13, 2023

April is here, and spring is in full bloom for most of the country. But there is something else happening throughout April: It’s National 911 Month, in support of the National 911 Education Coalition.

As fellow Editor at TMC, Alex B. Passett points out in his article that during the month, public safety educators are sharing resources and materials with the hopes of improving public education about the optimal uses of 911 services nationwide.

These resources aren’t only given to the general public, though. They are also passed on to local governments that are looking for new tools and solutions to upgrade their 911 communications to be certain all emergencies are taken care of efficiently.

The Department of Public Safety Communications in Fairfax County, Virginia is no exception. The county’s DPSC recently selected Atos Public Safety – through a six-year contract – to transform the county's 911 call handling system into a resilient, flexible communication platform that is fully based in the cloud.

"Our mission is providing excellence to the public in response to emergency situations and to support our first line telecommunicators with system capabilities that enhance compassionate and efficient public safety responses,” said Steve McMurrer, 911 systems administrator, Fairfax County DPSC. “Atos Public Safety provides DPSC with an innovative, interoperable and resilient standards-based solution and design.”

Atos Public Safety uses a cloud-based approach that enables the implementation of innovative features such as voice, text or multimedia information display, real-time call transcription with keyword-flagging, text-to-911 translation, and easy transfer and conference capabilities.

The Atos Unify (News - Alert) OpenScape Global Emergency Management, GEMMA solution (when combined with Atos' Unify OpenScape First Response NENA i3 compliant routing engine, OSFR) provides Fairfax County DPSC with a new level of response workflow automation and advanced call handling.

GEMMA helps improve cooperation between command-and-control centers and field personnel. It can cover emergency response from call-taking and dispatching, to first-responder action. OpenScape First Response offers an Emergency Service IP-Network, Next Generation Core Services and Next Generation Public Safety Answering Points, which are compliant with the National Emergency Number Association and European Emergency Number Association standards. The system allows for 911 calls to be made and responded to through voice, text messaging, video and data.

To collaborate with these solutions, Atos Public Safety partnered with RapidSOS to integrate locally authoritative geographic information systems data to update and publish at scale automatically. RapidSOS is an intelligent safety platform that securely links life-saving data from connected devices, apps and sensors to RapidSOS safety agents, 911 and first responders globally.

"It's important for public safety systems to be compliant with industry standards, as well as keep pace with the technology that enables quick, smart and informed communications,” said Joe Hernandez, Head of Public Safety, North America, Atos Public Safety.

Atos Public Safety working with the Fairfax County DPSC not only enhances the county’s ability to serve the public and first responder community, but it also creates the foundation for future technologies and applications.

Edited by Alex Passett
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