Efficiency at its best
That’s the word used by officials from Visalia police and fire departments as they described the new Computer-Aided Dispatch and Records Management System (CADRMS).
Officials met with representatives from Spillman Technologies, Inc. — the company behind the new dispatching system — on Wednesday to prepare for a launch estimated to be in July 2016.
“It was kind of a kickoff with some of our committee members in our department to set a plan in place and (prepare for the system launch),” Capt. Perry Phipps of the Visalia Police Department.
Phipps said the department fielded proposals from four vendors when deciding on a new dispatching system and chose to go with Spillman Technologies, Inc. in April.
“We looked at what their capabilities were and looked at what our needs were,” Phipps said. “It was a win-win for us.”
The CADRMS cost $2 million and will have a yearly maintenance cost of $150,000.
The department’s current system, provided by Public Safety Systems Incorporated, has been in use since 1984 and was upgraded in 2007.
Even with the upgrade eight years ago, the system was considered antiquated and CADRMS provides the upgrades needed for a more efficient police and fire department.
One of the features Phipps likes about CADRMS is the ability for officers in the field to streamline reports more efficiently.
“(Our officers) will be able to write their reports in the filed, submit them to a supervisor and forward it on to the records unit,” Phipps said. “It’s almost seamless.”
Phipps isn’t the only one singing the praises of the new dispatching system.
Battalion Chief Danny Wristen of the Visalia Fire Department said CADRMS has features that will make it easier for firefighters to respond to calls.
“The new system has a dozen new features we’re excited about,” Wristen said. “Our current system dispatches by station response district, but a new GPS system will dispatch the closest unit to the fire.”
It’s tweaks like that which Wristen said will be valuable for the firefighters.
Besides the GPS dispatch capability, Wristen also said pre-plan strategies — strategies for large buildings like hospitals or malls — will be embedded into the dispatch system and come up on their screens.
“It comes down to efficiency where we have that information at the tips of our fingers,” Wristen said. “It reduces time and it wasn’t that long ago we were having to carry the pre-plans in a book.”
Training on CADRMS will begin in January with a “go live” date sometime in mid-July.
The training will be department wide at various levels depending on the job and Phipps said by the time of launch, the system technicians with the department will know CADRMS inside and out.
Phipps also said to safeguard against any potential bugs once going live, five or six representatives from Spillman Technologies, Inc. will be on site to make sure everything is running smoothly.
“Our guys will be able to address (system) problems,” Phipps said. “We will always have (the guys from Spillman) as a resource.”
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