CAD Emergency Dispatching:
Computer-assisted dispatch, also called Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), is a method of dispatching public-safety emergency services assisted by computer. It can either be used to send messages to the public safety unit via a mobile data terminal (MDT) and/or used to store and retrieve data (i.e. radio logs, field interviews, schedules, etc.). A dispatcher may announce the call details to field units over a two-way radio. Some systems communicate using a two-way radio system's selective calling features. CAD systems may send text messages with call-for-service details to alphanumeric pagers or wireless telephony text services like SMS. The central idea is that persons in a dispatch center are able to easily view and understand the status of all units being dispatched. CAD provides displays and tools so that the dispatcher has an opportunity to handle calls-for-service as efficiently as possible.

CAD typically consists of a suite of software packages used to initiate public safety calls for service, dispatch, and maintain the status of responding resources in the field. It is generally used by emergency communications dispatchers, call-takers, and 911 operators in centralized, public-safety call centers, as well as by field personnel utilizing mobile data terminals (MDTs) or mobile data computers (MDCs).

CAD systems consist of several modules that provide services at multiple levels in a dispatch center and in the field of public safety. These services include call input, call dispatching, call status maintenance, event notes, field unit status and tracking, and call resolution and disposition. CAD systems also include interfaces that permit the software to provide services to dispatchers, call takers, and field personnel with respect to control and use of analog radio and telephony equipment, as well as logger-recorder functions.

Computerized mapping, Automatic vehicle location, Automatic number identification and caller-identification technology are often used to enhance the service by pinpointing the locations of both the client and the most suitable vehicle for serving the client.

Some CAD systems allow several sources of information to be combined. For example, adding automatic vehicle location (AVL) and geographic information (GIS) could improve service by getting units to a service call location faster. Ideally, CAD is connected to monitor vehicle locations provided by an AVL system. This information is used to suggest the closest vehicle to an event.

Bedford County E911 has implemented standardized rules for the display of house numbers and the issuance of 911 addresses. We also interface with customers who are seeking a new address for parcels of property which are being improved with homes. We issue the addresses for the new homes and create a GIS map which will contain the location of the home with an ESN (Emergency Service Number) that is assigned to the subscriber’s telephone number which routes the call to the proper PSAP.

GIS Mapping:
Putting spatial intelligence at the fingertips of the 911 dispatcher and field personnel greatly improves emergency response. GIS enables our emergency 911 center the ability to map incident locations and ensure that public safety first responders get to the right incident at the right time.

GIS based Computer-aided dispatch (CAD) solutions [PDF] help optimize the dispatch mission with

  • Vehicle and/or resource management and tracking
  • Premise history and dispatcher situational awareness
  • Mobile and in-vehicle mapping using remotely accessed data

Call routing using "as the crow flies" mentality does not always equate to the closest unit. Using GIS, drive time, distance, and street impedances are interpreted to determine the unit closest to the call.

A GIS map displaying relevant GIS data (critical infrastructure, incident locations, hydrant locations, station locations, etc.) integrated dynamic event data (alarms and sensors, cameras, traffic, incidents, etc.) provides emergency dispatchers with comprehensive, real-time understanding of an incident. The increased capability to rapidly process and disseminate information results in enhancing the protection of people and assets. GIS also provides a flexible information exchange platform to rapidly integrate new/additional information across centralized and remote operating environments.

Smart 911:
Smart911 allows citizens to enter information through a secure web site that they want to make available to 9-1-1 operators in the event they call 9-1-1. When they call 9-1-1 the data automatically displays on the call takers work station and is also made available to police, fire and EMS in the field helping them respond more quickly and effectively. It works seamlessly in today’s infrastructure as well as future Next-generation solutions.

Missing child: With Smart911, the 9-1-1 operator can see a high quality photo of the missing child, issue an Amber Alert and forward the photo to field officers immediately after the call. A map of the child's last known location is included.
Severe Allergies: With Smart911, anytime you dial 9-1-1 the operator will see your name, allergy, and current location on-screen. Even if you're unable to speak, EMS will be dispatched to your location with an EpiPen in hand.
Confused or disabled caller: With Smart911, the 9-1-1 operator can view the medical profile of a confused or disabled caller. If an Alzheimer's sufferer cannot remember his/her home address or an Asthma sufferer is unable to speak, the 9-1-1 center will still be able to effectively dispatch help.
Prescriptions and Pre-Existing Conditions: With Smart911, you can provide information on prescriptions that you are taking or pre-existing conditions that you may have so that any emergency medical treatment will consider that vital information so that possible drug reactions are less likely to occur during an emergency treatment.
Deaf or hard-of-hearing caller: With Smart911, the 9-1-1 operator can see a high quality photo of the missing child, issue an Amber Alert and forward the photo to field officers immediately after the call. A map of the child's last known location is included.

The CodeRED system is used to send critical communications, from evacuation notices to missing child alerts, to any citizen who wishes to participate and receive those instant messages, directly to your smart phone. By subscribing to this valuable service, citizens can get instant public warnings from Tornado alerts, severe weather, missing children, heat alerts, and burn bans to notices of important public meetings. Students who are studying at a university can receive instant campus alerts and important internal communication or enrolment management information directly on their smart phone.