By: Tricia McConnell, Sr. Marketing Communications Manager
On a Friday afternoon in the Emergency Call Relay Center (ECRC) at West, call volume is steady but manageable. A vehicle collides with a bus, which triggers a 9-1-1 call from the car’s telematics system. A registered nurse from a 24-hour hotline reports a caller complaining of chest pains and nausea. The ECRC call takers identify the location and nature of these emergencies then conduct warm transfers by contacting the appropriate public safety answering point (PSAP) and confirming that the dispatcher and caller can communicate before dropping off.
The mood in the room back in October 2012 was significantly more intense. Then, as Hurricane Sandy surged up the east coast, PSAPs in impacted areas struggled to manage the overwhelming 9-1-1 call volume. The ECRC staff and other West employees worked extended shifts and through scheduled days off to help PSAPs respond to incoming 9-1-1 calls.
West commends the New York City Council for the recent passage of the new law, “Requiring direct telephone access to 911 service.” The passage of this law ensures that New Yorkers using multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) in certain businesses and City agencies have easy, direct access to 9-1-1 service in an emergency.
The law is modeled on Kari’s Law, so-named in honor of Kari Hunt whose tragic passing in 2013 alerted the nation to the dangers of requiring a dialing prefix to access 9-1-1. Simply, this new NYC law will allow users of these MLTS to dial 9-1-1 without requiring any prefix, post-fix or trunk access code. In addition to the direct dialing provision, the law also requires that on-site notifications be issued when 9-1-1 is dialed and that calls must be directly delivered to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
West is pleased to announce that its Emergency Gateway (EGW) has achieved ShoreTel TechConnect certification with the latest release of ShoreTel Connect Onsite.
EGW is an on-site appliance that streamlines and optimizes 9-1-1 management, allowing enterprises to maintain accurate and up-to-date data for 9-1-1 purposes, with minimal manual intervention. Previously integrated with ShoreTel ShoreGear, this new certification includes expanded 9-1-1 management functionality for ShoreTel Connect. Read More >
West is pleased to announce that it has launched a new channel partner program for its enterprise solutions. We’ve been dedicated to supplying innovative 9-1-1 solutions for carriers, public safety and enterprises for more than 35 years. By introducing this new program, resellers can work with West and position themselves as full-service Unified Communications (UC) advisors by including 9-1-1 solutions with their voice offerings.
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If you’ve been tasked with choosing an E9-1-1 solution for your enterprise, it can be tempting to set up an on-site notification alert and have emergency responders receive the location details they need once they arrive on-site. While this strategy seems to be able to keep your organization safe, make no mistake: implementing notification alerts on their own as an E9-1-1 solution can place your organization and your employees in grave danger. For E9-1-1, relaying an accurate, dispatchable address to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) is essential; this ensures that first responders arrive with the information they need to quickly locate and help the caller.