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December 3, 2013

Cassidian Communications’ VESTA®/Sentinel® 4 NG9-1-1 Call Taking System Enables Interoperability and Operational Efficiency for San Bernardino County PSAPs

VESTA®/Sentinel® 4 system’s geo-diversity allows three public safety answering points in San Bernardino County to now operate as one

TEMECULA, Calif. Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, today reports that Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in San Bernardino County, Calif. have increased operational efficiency and enhanced interoperability following the implementation of the latest release of its VESTA®/Sentinel® 4 system.

The release of this next-generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) call taking system was tested during the last year in close collaboration with the communications managers for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (SBCSD) and the consolidated fire dispatch center, CONFIRE. The PSAP operations at Valley Control Center (VCC), Desert Control Center (DCC) and at CONFIRE now have industry leading capabilities, including user role and agency selection at login as well as interoperability between PSAPs.

The enhanced VESTA/Sentinel 4 system makes it possible to configure applications, displayed information and workflows for each user based on their role selected at login. This allows 9-1-1 supervisors to quickly and efficiently adapt to changing operational requirements, such as unusually high or low call volumes.

In addition, the new multi-tenancy/multi-agency capability makes it possible to create virtual ‘agencies’ within a single VESTA/Sentinel 4 system, assigning specific resources (i.e. call detail records, lines groups, user roles and layouts) to specific agencies. The ability to select an agency at user login gives 9-1-1 budget managers the opportunity to maximize operational benefit from existing resources, enabling them to assist their fellow PSAPs when help is necessary or time allows.

Because of its geo-diverse design, the VESTA/Sentinel 4 NG9-1-1 call taking system also allows the main PSAPs at VCC and DCC, along with the secondary PSAP at CONFIRE, to be connected via a wide area network with redundant links. Should one PSAP become unavailable, one of the other centers is capable of running the entire network, providing the county with sophisticated backup, disaster recovery and overflow operations.

SBCSD has relied on Cassidian Communications’ call taking technology for more than 15 years to serve approximately two million residents across 20,000 square miles. Together the three centers receive nearly 1.2 million calls annually.

“The concept of what we wanted to do this time is very different. Our goal was to create interoperability between the three centers so we can share call volumes and work load. The VESTA/Sentinel 4 system with dual servers and geo-diversity is exactly what we were looking for,” said Brian Acosta, CONFIRE communications manager and county 9-1-1 coordinator. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a company that has the level of care for the customer experience that Cassidian Communications does. It’s clear the Cassidian Communications’ team wanted to understand what we were looking for and were committed making it happen.”

All three San Bernardino County PSAPs also use Cassidian Communications’ Aurora® MIS (Management Information System) to facilitate reporting of data from the VESTA/Sentinel 4 NG9-1-1 call taking system. Ron Dunn, communications manager for DCC, said the Aurora MIS saves him time by enabling him to quickly run reports on call volume, talk time, 911 vs. non-emergency calls and more. The system also separates information by call center so information as broad or as narrow as needed is accessible.

“The VESTA/Sentinel 4 system provides us with added functionality plus the user interface is familiar to our end users, which was very important to us. We like the fact that the user interface is so easy to modify,” said Cyndee Freeman, communications manager for VCC. “Cassidian Communications has been very attentive to our needs, really listening to what we want and committed to making sure our system works as planned. We are really appreciative of their service and ongoing support.”

About Cassidian Communications (www.CassidianCommunications.com)

Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, is a global leader and trusted source for mission-critical communications technologies, including NG9-1-1 call taking systems, emergency notification solutions and services, and P25 land mobile radio networks and LTE. For over four decades, Cassidian Communications has upheld its promise to keep people connected when it matters most, consistently designing solutions with an open mind and creating smarter, more effective ways to ensure communities are safe. For Cassidian Communications, “Critical matters”. The company is headquartered in Temecula, Calif., with facilities located in Richardson, Texas, Franklin, Tenn. and Gatineau, Quebec.

About EADS North America (www.eadsnorthamerica.com)

EADS North America is the U.S.-based operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense, and related services. EADS contributes more than $14 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports over 225,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers. EADS North America, headquartered in Herndon, Va., offers a broad array of advanced solutions to meet U.S. military and commercial requirements, including fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, homeland security systems, public safety communications, defense electronics and avionics, and threat detection systems.