The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

NetCraftsmen®

Challenge

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.

Strategy

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.

Solution

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.

Results

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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