Once considered a luxury, computer-aided dispatching (CAD), is now the primary manner in which public safety communication centers manage information. The advantages of effective dispatching software go beyond the 911 center. CAD systems in law enforcement, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) dispatch software, and a host of other public safety uses clearly demonstrates the benefits of this technology. These advantages are realized through the innovative approach to software solutions available through 10-8 Systems.
Advantages of CAD in 911 Communication Centers
The use of computer-aided dispatching software is perhaps the most common initiator prompting action from first responders. Calls for service requiring any combination of law enforcement, fire fighters, or EMS, often begin at a public safety answering point (PSAP). Sometimes referred to as 911 centers, communication centers, or the simple, colloquial industry term, dispatch, the PSAP is the proverbial heartbeat of any public safety agency.
Communication center personnel immediately experience the benefits of dispatching software as a call for service begins. Data management through a CAD system increases the efficiency and effectiveness of an agency’s response. From an active shooter to a lost child, from a motorist with a flat tire to a call about a barking dog, computer-aided dispatch software manages it all.
Accurate data is vital in evaluating an emergency response. An effective CAD system will begin to provide data even before the call for help is answered. From the moment a caller accesses the 911 system, information about their location and telephone number begin to populate the dispatcher’s screen. Using advanced dispatch software, PSAP professionals can immediately assess the priority of the call, determine which agencies will be dispatched, and identify the number of units needed.
Advantages of CAD in Law Enforcement, EMS, and Firefighting
As part of an integrated computer-aided dispatch system, mobile technology can put vital information at the fingertips of first responders in the field. For instance, EMS dispatch software can let paramedics know about previous calls for service to a particular patient. Having information about someone’s medical history can better prepare medics for the type of emergency treatment that may be required.
Comparably, law enforcement officers can get important details about an address or subject while en route to a call for service. Knowing about previous encounters other officers may have had with a person who was violent or armed, can be crucial and help determine the type of response. Finally, firefighters can access records that can alert them of any known hazardous materials at the scene of a structure fire. Hydrant and other water supply locations can also be displayed using CAD’s mapping feature.
Computer-aided dispatching software provides advantages to field units regardless of the magnitude of the call for service. A large-scale event, for example, will undoubtedly bring units from different zones or sectors, and perhaps other agencies. In addition to primary units, CAD provides timely and accurate information to secondary and tertiary responders.
Before mobile technology, back-up and support units would have to rely on the two-way radio to obtain details about an event. Dispatchers or the primary units on the scene would often find themselves repeating the same information as additional units responded. Mobile technologies and cloud-based CAD systems eliminate that inconvenience and keep the radio free for emergency transmissions. Instead, back-up responders can obtain information about important locations including physical addresses, command posts, staging areas, evacuation routes, and more. Additionally, items such as vehicle or suspect descriptions, a missing child’s last known location, or details about an active arrest warrant can be accessed through CAD’s mobile technology.
After an event, dispatch software will have captured all of the important data for future use. This is the case regardless of the size of the incident or the number of units involved. An officer who responded to a complaint of loud music and handled it with a warning will have all the information he or she needs to complete a brief report; dispatch and arrival times, addresses, complainant’s name, call history, etc. Similarly, those involved in unified command at the scene of a train derailment or other major incident will also have the information required for a variety of after action and similar reports in the event’s aftermath.
Advantages of CAD in the Private Sector
Security dispatching software provides private companies with the same advantages public safety agencies have within their CAD systems. Whether hired for a single event, on a long term contract, or as a component of a company, private security plays a vital role in protecting people, businesses, and assets. Through mobile technology, security officers in the field can access information about alarms, gate/door access, client contact information, and additional material to assist in the performance of their duties. Security dispatchers can easily determine the closest unit to a call for service and relay up to the minute vital information to those in the field. They can also communicate with officers, managers, and clients, all through the use of security dispatching software.
Computer-aided dispatching is not reserved for entities whose primary function is safety and security. Any organization with a mobile workforce, especially those who respond to calls for service, can benefit from a CAD system. The transportation sector, including taxi and bus companies, have long known the necessity for effective communication with their mobile units. CAD has demonstrated the importance of modern technology as those lines of communication vastly improve businesses. Information such as traffic delays, unit locations, or passengers with special needs including wheelchair access, can all be managed through an integrated software system.
Regardless of the size or nature of one’s fleet, 10-8 Systems can customize computer-aided dispatch software that will improve the service a company can provide to its customers. Some of the advantages of CAD in the private sector include better communication, enhanced information management, and improved employee and customer safety.