April 2017 Newsletter

April 2017

Winbourne Consulting offers a full range of public safety services, including strategic planning, systems integration, specifications development, solution acquisition, and implementation project management and quality assurance.

Our Areas of Expertise encompass all segments of Public Safety, including:

  • PSAP Consolidation
  • NextGen/911 Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Public Safety Communications and Telephony
  • Public Safety Applications and Systems Requirements and Implementation Support
  • Mission Critical Facilities Design and Fit-Out
  • 311 Call Centers and Implementation
  • PSAP Staffing and Operations Analysis

Our Clients include city, county, state, and federal agencies located throughout the United States and the world, as well as countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America.

 

We are interested in your thoughts on the newsletter topics. To share them with us, please visit our blog or follow us on Twitter.

 

For more information about our services and solutions, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.

Acquiring Communications Consoles

 

The term “working the desk,” has long been a fixture of public safety jargon, originating from a time where an individual assigned to interact with the public literally sat at a desk. It was a traditional piece of office furniture, perhaps elevated slightly to provide a better view, but a desk it truly was. When radios came along, control sets were designed as desktop fixtures, earning their place next to the rotary dial telephone. Tube driven, and lacking controls other than volume, squelch, and channel selector, examples of what was then cutting edge technology can sometimes still be seen on reruns of The Andy Griffith Show.

 

As communications increased in complexity, conventional furniture was no longer up to the task of handling the disparate devices involved. Modular console furniture evolved, capable of mounting items in standard 19 inch racks. Typically constructed of steel housings with laminate covered work surfaces, units could be stacked and configured into numerous patterns that fit the space and served the needs of a variety of users.

 

The morphing of Computer Aided Dispatch systems from single dumb terminals to multiple large CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors at each position heralded a migration to consoles that could accommodate their size and weight, and often featured lifting surfaces that allowed the telecommunicator to either sit or stand. Today’s generation of console furniture follows much the same pattern, but it typically designed to accommodate even more monitors, albeit the flat panel LED (Light Emitting Diode) type.

 

While console furniture may not be the most expensive component of a Public Safety Answering Point, costs for multiple position facilities can add up. Additionally, the life cycle of these products is potentially 15 years or more, which typically outlasts several iterations of the electronic devices that they support. For that reason, it is critical that attention be given to a number of different requirements when creating specifications for acquisition.

 

  • Monitors - The layout must provide sufficient space for monitors to be arranged logically, and to accommodate the make, model, number, size, and orientation required. The method of adjustment must also be considered. Electric? Manual? Both? What is the range of motion needed? Are individual monitor movements needed, or are they adjusted as a group? Do individual arms or consolidated racks best serve the purpose?
  • Electronics Storage - How many devices of what type will be required for each console? Where will these devices be stored? Is rack access or slide out trays a requirement? Will some positions such as a supervisory or fire dispatch require additional equipment? If so, how does this affect the configuration and size of the console? What heat load will all these devices generate? Can it be sufficiently cooled through convective airflow alone, or is additional cooling needed? How will the equipment be accessed for service? Are there any restrictions to access, such as consoles being installed back to back or against a wall?
  • Cabling and Power - How many circuits will appear in each console? Will they be home runs that terminate directly in devices, or be connected to a distribution box? How will cables be routed internally to peripherals, and are they both secure and accessible? How much electric power is needed? Do vendors require dedicated circuits for any of the systems? Manufacturers will be able to provide the answers to both these questions. Is critical equipment supplied with conditioned emergency power? Is a unique circuit or circuit provided for non-communications use, such as surface lifts, heaters, and fans? How does each position connect to the facility? Is there a pig tail that feeds manufacturer supplied boxes within the console, or will the trade groups wire them direct using conventional hardware? How are grounding concerns addressed?
  • Comfort - Perhaps the fastest growing component of console furniture features involves those that help to make the operator comfortable. In this area, the questions include: Will elevated surfaces be utilized? Will those surfaces be single or split? How and where will they be controlled? Will a blower driven climate control be required, or is a flat radiant panel heater preferred? Are specialized mountings for facial tissues, clean-up wipes, or other products desired? Will there be storage provided for personal items like jackets, purses, and satchels?
  • Lighting - Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights have become the norm for many uses, and including console lighting. Will adjustable work lights be required? How many, and where? Do they need to be dimmable? Are any other lights required for surface illumination? Will other types of lighting be required such as aisle way and under counter lighting? Lamps inside of equipment bays are also popular, and can be switched, or automatically turned on and off by the opening and closing of the compartment door. So-called “status lights” are also an often-specified feature, providing for visual indications of operator status such as on the air, on the telephone, or needs assistance. Colors, mounting, and means of activation can be tailored to local taste.
  • Additional Controls and Miscellaneous Devices - Operating positions often require the ability to control devices other than CAD, radio, and telephone. Included here are a variety of functions such as alarm systems, video cameras, and interior and exterior doors. Since there is no standard configuration for these controls, purchasers must carefully detail all that apply. Additionally, storage for backup telephones, portable radios, and pre-arrival cards must be planned out, so as to be available when needed, yet unobtrusive at other times.
  • Miscellaneous Furniture - Predictions of a paperless world aside, the typical communications center still finds use for a wide range of conventional office supplies. These need a place to be neatly stored, yet accessible. Most communications console manufacturers offer a line of matching book cases, files, and Lazy Susan units that fulfill this need. Chairs are often included in procurement, and deserve an entirely separate article to do them justice. These should be of the intensive use type, classified for 24 x 7 operations.
  • Standards - While most states and municipalities have their own set of regulations covering purchase and installation, there are some basic standards that should be considered. Aside from the very obvious such as electrical safety, there are others such as those from ANSI/BIFMA (American National Standards Institute / Business Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association) that deal directly with finish, durability, and range of motion. With increasing emphasis on the environment, many communities subscribe to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) practices. While LEED focus is often placed upon the structure itself, concerns such as the use of recycled materials, absence of off-gassing materials and finishes, and “green” manufacturing and shipping processes also apply to furnishings.
  • Room Layout - The layout of the communications center itself is directly tied to the console configurations. What are the dimensions of the space available? How much personal interaction is required between dispatchers? Do star shapes, circular pods, or rows best suit your needs? Are there limitations placed by support columns or utility locations? Is line of sight to video displays required? Can Americans with Disability Act (ADA) clearances be maintained? Keep in mind that raised supervisory platforms require unfettered access.
  • Final Thoughts - There are a number of manufacturers that specialize in communications console furniture. Careful creation of specifications can assist them in delivering a product that suits your needs. All are capable of providing digital footprints as well as three dimensional representations of their finished products to assist in formalizing the final room design.

 

Winbourne Consulting has a wide range of experience in assisting clients in the design, construction and operation of Command Centers in support of public safety and other agency mission-critical operations. If you are interested in how Winbourne Consulting can assist your agency in determining their requirements, please contact us at info@w-llc.com.

Winbourne Happenings

 

Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, VirginiaWinbourne Consulting is currently assisting Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, Virginia in the development of a shared 911 call processing solution to provide increased geo-diversity and cost-sharing opportunities among the jurisdictions. Winbourne is assisting in creating the necessary governance agreements, identifying operational issues, and managing the development of the functional requirements and subsequent procurement of the system.

 

City of Waco, TexasWinbourne Consulting has been assisting the city of Waco, Texas in their acquisition of a Body Worn Camera System.

For more information on the City of Waco’s project visit: http://www.wacotrib.com/news/city_of_waco/police-to-pursue-vendors-for-body-cameras-data-storage/article_cbf7c922-17b3-507f-bbc7-fe21d57b5e92.html

 

Winbourne Consulting will be attending the Louisiana NENA/APCO Conference in Bossier City, Louisiana, April 3-5, 2017. http://www.louisiananena.org/symposium.asp

 

IWCEWinbourne Consulting attended the IWCE Conference which was held March 27-31.

Topics of interest included: FirstNet state plans and opt-out options for States. Lisa Madden, Vice President for NG9-1-1, Broadband Networks, and FirstNet attended a session discussing the need for the interoperability of NG911 and FirstNet to ensure that our nation’s first responders have access to the valuable data that citizens can provide via an IP-based 911 network. She also participated in a Town Hall as a representative of ICERT, of the NG911NOW Coalition, which discussed the industry’s perspective on challenges that have impeded the deployment of NG911 across the country.

 

Local Public Safety News

 

NG911 and the ESINet OHIO APCO/NENA 2017. The focus of this year’s Ohio NENA/APCO conference in Sandusky OH (April 10 – 12) was NG911 and the ESINet (Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network). The 200 attendees had a variety of training and technology sessions to choose from, but the prevalent theme of the conference was NG911 and the ESINet. Specifically Rob Jackson, Ohio 9-1-1 Administrator, discussed the Ohio steering committee ESINet tasks which included:

  • Address the development of a statewide ESINet, including a review of the current funding model for this state's 9-1-1 systems;
  • Examine the readiness of the state's current technology infrastructure to support Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1);
  • Research legislative authority with regard to governance and funding;
  • Make recommendations for consolidation of public-safety-answering-point operations in this state, to accommodate next-generation 9-1-1 technology and to facilitate a more efficient and effective emergency services system;
  • Recommend policies, procedures, and statutory or regulatory authority to effectively govern a statewide emergency services internet protocol network;
  • Coordinate with statewide initiatives and associations.

 

The steering Committee released an ESINet RFP (NG9-1-1 Design, Deploy and Operate) (https://procure.ohio.gov/proc/viewProcOpps.asp?oppID=13333) which will provide connectivity to all PSAPs within the state of Ohio. The goal is to reduce call routing times, increase interoperability between PSAPs, reduce call transfer times, enable call overflow and call backup across a region, and enable NG911 data sharing.

 

Industry Events

 

http://www.npstw.org/

 

May 16 & 17 | Washington DC

APCO’s 2017 Broadband Summit will be held May 16-17 in Washington, DC. The annual event provides a forum for technology experts, policy leaders, industry partners, wireless service providers, and public safety professionals to discuss timely issues affecting the deployment of the FirstNet nationwide public safety broadband network.

http://broadbandsummit.apcointl.org/

 

41st Annual IACP Technology Conference

The IACP Technology Conference provides law enforcement executives, IT managers, technology specialists, and others with a forum in which to share information, best practices and lessons learned regarding state-of-the-art law enforcement information management, communications and interoperability, technology standards, and information sharing, analysis and fusion. The IACP has hosted information management and technology conferences since April 1977. The conferences provide training, professional development, and a national forum for law enforcement executives, operational managers, and technology and research staff to share best practices and lessons learned on a broad array of new and emerging technologies.

http://www.theiacp.org/Tech-conference

 

 

June 3-6 | San Antonio, Texas

No matter what your role is in public safety, NENA's Annual Conference & Expo delivers the education, resources, and contacts you need to be better equipped to do your job and actively prepare for the road ahead. Featuring inspiring keynote speakers, dozens of education and training sessions designed to inform and empower, comprehensive full-day and multi-day courses and workshops with real-world applications, unparalleled opportunities to network with peers and make the right connections, and an expo hall showcasing cutting-edge products and services, this is the must-attend event of the year for today’s emergency communications professional.

http://www.nena.org/?page=NENA2017

 

IAFC Annual Conference & ExpoConference: July 26–29, 2017

Exhibits: July 27–29, 2017

Charlotte Convention Center

Charlotte, NC

 

FRI, the annual conference and expo of the IAFC, has provided senior-level leadership training to fire chiefs for 140 years. As an organization, the IAFC represents the world's leading experts in the first responder community. The IAFC's commitment to excellence is seen throughout FRI—from the classroom to the expo, the IAFC delivers when it comes to quality and value.

http://events.iafc.org/micrositeFRIconf/About/index.cfm?ItemNumber=6597&navItemNumber=6595

 

APCO 2017APCO 2017 is the premier event for public safety communications officials, from frontline telecommunicators to communication center managers to public safety communications equipment and services vendors. Registration opens April 3, 2017.

http://www.apco2017.org/

 

Articles of Interest

 

APCO Celebrates FirstNet’s Selection of AT&T

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International celebrates the First Responder Network Authority’s selection of AT&T as its partner to implement the nationwide public safety broadband network. FirstNet users will benefit from the significant investment and infrastructure AT&T already has in place, which is more efficient than depending upon a green-field build or untested solutions.

http://psc.apcointl.org/2017/03/30/apco-celebrates-firstnets-selection-of-att/

 

Mission Critical CommunicationsFEMA Contracts Companies for Satellite Tracking in Disasters

Numerex announced a partnership with Software Tech Enterprises that will provide satellite-tracking systems to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The technology will provide real-time visibility to high-value assets such as critical equipment and materials for disaster relief assistance.

http://www.rrmediagroup.com/News/NewsDetails/NewsID/15370

 

GCNDHS Adds Encryption Requirements to Responder Radio Equipment

To ensure that first responders have secure interoperability for their communications, the Department of Homeland Security announced that radio equipment requiring encryption must use Advanced Encryption Standard 256. This change in the Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program listing of grant-eligible radio equipment will help ensure that responders from different jurisdictions can communicate securely and successfully, regardless of the brand of equipment used.

https://gcn.com/articles/2017/03/27/p25-encryption.aspx?admgarea=TC_STATELOCAL