The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine



The National Academies has more than 1,700 dedicated phones throughout three buildings in the Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia metro area. With so many points of call origination, they needed greater precision in their emergency call system.

In addition, any 911 call originating from within a National Academies building was first routed through that building’s security desk, resulting in a potentially dangerous delay.

In emergencies, seconds count, and any delay could carry tragic consequences. Leaders at the National Academies realized that they needed to act promptly to find an improved emergency call solution.


The telecommunications team within the National Academies knew they needed better, so they turned to the Cisco Emergency Responder (CER) System.

The CER System offers an effective solution in multi-phone, multi-location situations in a VoIP environment because it is engineered to achieve four main objectives:

  • Route emergency calls to a local public-safety answering point (PSAP) — in this case the 911 operator/dispatcher.
  • Alert appropriate personnel of emergency calls via both email and phone.
  • Keep an automated log of all calls.
  • Provide the PSAP with a caller’s precise geographic location.

To reap the advantages of the CER system, the National Academies needed a partner that was highly knowledgeable in Cisco solution implementation — a partner that could execute and fine-tune the solution as quickly as possible. So, the Academies turned to NetCraftsmen.


The NetCraftsmen team were able to execute in only eight weeks a solution that typically requires three or four months. The team engaged in constant, clear dialogue with its client, and relied upon hard-earned experience in efficiently standing up CER solutions.


The CER implemented by NetCraftsmen has given National Academies’ users the ability to call 911 and contact first responders directly, with no lag whatsoever.  Responders know exactly where the calls come from and the Academies’ personnel in turn also know that their location is clearly visible. The double-call delay and the confusion caused by imprecise response were eliminated.

In addition, the system’s reliability improved dramatically; users no longer need to worry about dropped calls. The emergency dispatcher can see exactly where the call originated from — right down to the workstation. If a user places a call and gets disconnected for any reason, the answering point has information displayed to their computers.

Another important benefit: the new system alerts building security personnel in real time and informs them of the call’s origination point. This gives building security the ability to get to an individual or respond to a situation even before emergency services arrives. Rather than being tied up on the phone placing an out-going call to 911, security officers are on the move, helping to address concerns with informed immediacy.

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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.