Lynn University (LU), founded in 1962, is an independent, nonprofit university located in Boca Raton, Fla. LU is home to five academic colleges (business, liberal education, international communication, hospitality and education), a Conservatory of Music, School of Aeronautics and the Institute for Achievement and Learning, and is dedicated to individualized learning, innovative approaches and an international focus. LU enrolls 2,224 students representing 46 states and 81 nations.
With the safety of its students, faculty, and staff a top priority, Lynn University (LU) needed to implement an E9-1-1 solution that would provide distressed callers with access to emergency assistance as quickly as possible. However, LU faced three key challenges in regard to E9-1-1.
The first challenge was ensuring that emergency responders knew precisely where to locate 9-1-1 callers. LU’s main campus includes 18 buildings across 123 acres, and the School of Aeronautics which is located four miles away, at the Boca Raton Airport. However, when 9-1-1 was dialed from a phone anywhere on the central campus or at the School of Aeronautics, the location information displayed at the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) was always LU’s main address.
When emergency responders arrived on-scene, they would have to search the entire campus to locate the 9-1-1 caller, wasting valuable time when seconds count. To remedy this, LU needed the ability to deliver granular location information to the PSAP, allowing emergency responders to quickly locate distressed callers.
The second challenge LU faced was providing E9-1-1 support for its hybrid, multi-vendor deployment. Though LU is in the midst of migrating many of its phones to a Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) system, it plans to maintain its legacy Siemens PBX for its on-campus dormitory, which contains over 500 dorm rooms across five buildings. Therefore, it was essential for LU to implement an E9-1-1 solution that could support both its IP and legacy phone systems.
The third challenge LU faced was ensuring on-site security personnel were promptly notified of all 9-1-1 calls. Often, LU security personnel were alerted to crisis situations only when emergency responders arrived on-scene. With their training and knowledge of the campus, security personnel are ideal first responders, and can be of great help to the arriving emergency response team. LU required an E9-1-1 solution that could notify on-site security personnel of emergency situations, and provide them with the necessary information to help improve the emergency response
LU selected West’s enterprise E9-1-1 solution, comprised of the Emergency Routing Service (ERS) and the Emergency Gateway (EGW), to address their E9-1-1 challenges.
• The Emergency Routing Service (ERS) The ERS is a monthly subscription service that delivers 9-1-1 calls and location information to PSAPs across the US.
• The Emergency Gateway (EGW) The EGW is an on-site appliance that automates and simplifies E9-1-1 management. It includes automatic IP phone discovery, support for extension mobility/shared line appearance, and on-site security notification and call routing features.
Granular Location Provisioning
ERS allows LU to provision their locations to the level of granularity they require. Some locations only needed to be defined to the building level, whereas others needed to be defined to the floor or room level. The ability to provision locations to the level of granularity best-suited to the building ensures emergency responders have the precise information they need to quickly find distressed callers, regardless of their location on campus
SUPPORT FOR IP & LEGACY PHONE SYSTEMS
EGW is vendor-agnostic, and can simultaneously support legacy and IP phone systems. This flexibility allowed LU to seamlessly integrate West’s solution with their hybrid, multi-vendor deployment, which includes a CUCM VoIP phone system and a Siemens legacy PBX. The diagram below illustrates a partial deployment of Lynn University’s communications network, which includes both legacy and IP phone systems.
ON-SITE SECURITY NOTIFICATION
The EGW includes a suite of security desk notification functions, which notify LU security personnel of emergency situations as soon as 9-1-1 is dialed.
Crisis alert notifications provide security personnel with the 9-1-1 caller’s name, precise location, and an optional URL link to additional location-specific information. When 9-1-1 is dialed, these notifications are instantaneously delivered via email, SMS, or pager to distribution lists specified by LU. For example, if 9-1-1 is dialed by a user in building 9, email alerts are sent to a distribution list that could include the main campus security office, as well as any dedicated security personnel for building 9.
SECURITY DESK CALL ROUTING AND MONITORING
The EGW is capable of delivering E9-1-1 calls to both the PSAP and/or the LU Security Desk using three-way conferencing. This allows LU security personnel to gather critical information about the nature of the crisis situation, so that an appropriate emergency response may immediately be implemented. Security desk call routing may also be configured with one-way mute, to provide monitoring-only capabilities.