Alberta Health Services adds third communications center to Solacom system

AHS updates Solacom NG9-1-1 call taking equipment with enhanced disaster recovery, and expands province-wide system to include call taking positions in Calgary

Gatineau, QC, Nov. 3, 2014 — Solacom Technologies announced that the Guardian Next Generation 9-1-1 system, installed in Edmonton four years ago by Alberta Health Services, is being expanded to host 21 call taking positions at a third Emergency Medical Services (EMS) dispatch center in Calgary. The system was first expanded two years ago to host 10 call taker positions operating remotely at the AHS dispatch center in Peace River.

In addition, the original Guardian controller in Edmonton will be enhanced adding Geo-diverse capabilities providing greater system resiliency throughout the province which can seamlessly take over call processing for all positions at the 3 locations – offering a high degree of protection against a natural or man-made disaster taking down part or all of the AHS call taking network.

The new call taking positions at the Calgary center will be equipped with Guardian Intelligent Workstations, designed for faster call handling with features such as touchscreen answer, one-button transfer and quick conference capability. The new workstations also allow AHS call takers to use a single headset for both phone calls and radio dispatching.

The new equipment in Calgary, along with the upgrade in Edmonton, is part of an ongoing effort to create one borderless Communications System so that no matter where the call for help comes from, AHS is able to efficiently dispatch the closest available resources to reach that person in need as fast as possible.

The Guardian public safety platform was chosen to transition AHS EMS communications centers from circuit switched phone lines to IP-based next generation 9-1-1 and provides a cost effective model where centralized equipment in Edmonton can host workstations in multiple locations around the province – simplifying operations and minimizing the amount of equipment required at each center. The Guardian system supports calls from the older landline telephone networks as well as mobile networks and calls over newer VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) networks.

“One of the key original goals was to deploy a system that could grow cost-effectively to multiple communications centers throughout the province as AHS expanded its collaborative dispatch model, Calgary as the third location proves the system is meeting its original intent. This new location takes full advantage of the initial investment AHS made in the Solacom system.” said Tony Parrott, Vice President of Sales, Solacom. “This adds tremendous value and allows AHS to build their network at their desired pace” he added.

All three AHS dispatch centers are part of a province-wide network of public safety answering points that handle over 400,000 calls a year for emergency medical services and more than 1,500 STARS air ambulance transfers, as well as numerous other medical events.

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