CRESA’s Technical Services team’s primary goal is the smooth operation and maintenance of the Agency’s communications computer systems and networks, telephone systems, and the County’s regional radio system. Technical Services directly supports CRESA’s 9-1-1 Dispatch Operations, as well as its other divisions and many other public safety agencies within Clark County, Washington.
The Technical Services staff conducts preventative maintenance on major components and redundant systems to ensure communications systems will be available when needed. All major communication systems are tested regularly for resiliency to redundant systems when events dictate a fail-over. Each of the technical systems requires internal expertise as well as external resources.
The Regional Radio Systems Program is responsible for countywide radio communications infrastructure comprised of 800 MHz voice/data, microwave systems and the VHF county fire radio system. Today, the radio system serves over 2,375 subscriber units.
Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)
Computer Aided Dispatch, known as “CAD,” is the computer program that collects and processes enhanced 9-1-1 information including automatic number identification (ANI) and automatic location information (ALI), and also provides emergency unit location and availability.
9-1-1 Dispatchers use CAD to create emergency incidents; assign these incidents to law, fire or EMS responders based on CAD-generated unit recommendation; track resources; and track times associated with all 9-1-1 responses. CAD is the central collection point for almost all emergency incident information from sources including, telephone, radio, other dispatch system interfaces and Law and Fire databases.
CAD functions let 9-1-1 Dispatchers perform their jobs with ease, accuracy, efficiency and speed. The CAD database provides a wealth of information which CRESA staff and user agencies collect and analyze information to constantly improve public safety.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
GIS works in conjunction with CRESA’s Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) to display geographic information on a computer map of Clark County. The location of 9-1-1 calls made from wireline phones displays on the map, as does the general location of cell phone callers who have Phase II compliant phones. The highly accurate data for the GIS map used by CAD is supplied to CRESA by Clark County GIS.
Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL)
This technology links vehicles equipped with AVL, such as ambulances, with CRESA’s Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) through geo-synchronous position satellites (GPS). With AVL equipment in place, it is possible to track public safety vehicles throughout Clark County on the CAD mapping program.
The ability to connect a 9-1-1 caller with the closest public safety resource, like an ambulance, saves valuable time during an emergency. The AVL routing program considers such information as speed limits and road impediments when plotting routes from the incident to determine which emergency vehicle should respond to the incident. The closest units are then recommended for dispatch to the incident.