The Challenges and Rewards of PSAPs 10 Positions and Under

Halifax County E9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center Turns to VESTA®

Whether a Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) has 10 positions or 400, the responsibilities to protect life and property are the same. The story of the Halifax County E9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center is a case in point.

Among North Carolina's corn and tobacco farms is the rural community of Halifax County, which encompasses 726 miles and 57,000 residents.

Protecting this community is the Halifax County E9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center. Comprised of 8 call-taking positions with 24 full-time and 30 part-time employees, the agency handles more than 220,000 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls per year.

The Reality of Recruiting

As an agency with fewer than 10 positions, Halifax County E9-1-1 manages the same responsibilities as larger agencies but with less funding and a smaller staff. In particular, Halifax County E9-1-1 has seen, as other agencies its size, a greater need to develop and execute succession plans as industry veterans retire.

"Recruiting new talent can be tough in our industry," said Heather Joyner, Halifax -County E9-1-1 Communications Manager. "In rural communities like Halifax, it's especially hard to find individuals who can adapt to a career in answering 9-1-1 calls. It can be a stressful job, and as new technology, such as text-to-9-1-1 and multimedia rolls out, dispatchers could face even greater responsibilities and stress."

Every Minute Matters

To help manage its operations and ease the burden of its responsibility, Halifax County E9-1-1, turned to Airbus DS Communications' latest call-handling solution, the VESTA® 9-1-1 solution because it is a reliable, geodiverse solution offering the latest technology and functionality - a solid foundation for Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1). The intuitive design and built-in tutorials make the onboarding process for employees, new and existing, easy and effortless. Along with the call handling system, the County implemented the VESTA® Analytics solution enabling the County to retrieve the exact data, right when they need it.

"With our VESTA 9-1-1 system, Calltakers can now quickly organize their calls and manage their workflow with ease. This means we can answer emergency calls more quickly and efficiently," said Joyner. "Additionally, we now have greater insights into our operations. In the past, I would spend hours each week reviewing our agency's statistics including average response time and how many calls we received. Now with VESTA Analytics, I can quickly pull performance reports and optimize our resources to keep our community safe. In a fast-paced environment like ours, every minute saved matters."

A Team That Stands Behind You

"As a previous Airbus DS Communications customer, we were already comforted by the service and support we receive from Airbus as well as our channel partner, Wireless Communications," added Joyner. "With VESTA 9-1-1 at our side, we are confident that we can continue delivering swift public safety communications for years to come and know that we have a strong team behind us monitoring and supporting our system 24/7."