We cutover to the new CAD system on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 and are now utilizing it 100% of the time. Thanks to our dedicated CAD Committee members and our vendor, our dispatch staff was able to make the transition over to the new system without any significant issues.
Our first true test came during the major weather event on Election Day, Tuesday, May 15th. This was an extremely busy time for us; at the height of the event, our dispatchers were working 137 incidents simultaneously! As new to us as this system was, our dispatchers navigated through the new CAD (and the storm) just fine.
During the first week of June, we rolled out the new “CAD Web View” to our Police, Fire and EMS personnel. This venue will provide their key staff with real-time situational awareness and advise them as to what incidents are going on in the County, as it pertains to public safety emergency response. Fire and EMS personnel will be able to monitor any Fire and EMS incident. Police personnel will be able to monitor ALL public safety levels of response.
In an effort to streamline things, we started sending out incident details to our responding public safety agencies. Upon closing out an incident, the new CAD system will send each agency the necessary incident information for their respective reporting requirements. With the old CAD system, when a fire department or EMS unit cleared an incident, they would frequently need to call us to obtain their response times (dispatched, on scene, transport etc.). This created extra work for them, as well as our dispatchers fielding their calls.
In the near future, we will be rolling out the CAD Web View product to the Emergency Room Departments at Lehigh Valley Health Network Hospital-Pocono and St. Luke’s University Health Network Hospital in Bartonsville. This will allow both hospitals to keep track of all pre-hospital emergency medical activity in the County and will further advise them of the ambulances heading to any of the hospitals in our six county region. Professional staff at Eastern PA EMS Council and MEDCOM will soon have the capability of monitoring our EMS emergency responses as well.
During this long transitional process, we have had to change countless procedures in addition to our radio terminology. We now primarily use “Plain English” instead of EMS and ten codes during our dispatches and transmissions. The CAD Committee, along with several members of our supervisory and administrative teams, have been instrumental in formulating these new policies and working along with our field users during this evolution. We could not have done it without their hard work and dedication! We would also like to thank our field users for their patience and professionalism during this process.
On the horizon: Mobile CAD-the ability to dispatch and keep status of incidents in a mobile environment.