News : Obsolete 911 System to Get Major Upgrade
Cayman Island, Feb 16, 16 2016 -- The Cayman Islands’ 911 structure is to undergo a major overhaul to bring the outdated system into the 21st century and ultimately offer greater security and improved service to residents, according to a release from the Information & Communications Technology Authority (ICTA), which will be project-managing the upgrade on behalf of government. One of the ICTA’s top priorities, the authority said the project was a necessary one and a request for proposals (RFP) is expected to go out soon.
"The existing 911 setup consists of a database and a telephone system but the telephone system component is obsolete," said Alee Fa’amoe, ICTA Managing Director. "Spare parts are hard to source and we can’t easily repair it if it should ever fail. We also can’t upgrade it to accommodate newer technologies."
The budget for the project will be based on previous quotes the 911 management team has received to replace the system. Once the project is completed, the 911 system will be more reliable first and foremost, and much more user-friendly for first responders, as well as both 911 employees and 911 callers, he added.
"This new system means it is more likely that you will be able to get help when you really need it. Whether you’re out on the water in a boat or lost in the bush, first responders will be able to find you much more quickly because the system will pinpoint exactly where you’re calling from and communicate those coordinates to them," Fa’amoe explained.
"Employees will have the opportunity to help specify what features they really need in a new 911 system which makes sense because these folks use the system every day. They have the most valuable information on how the system should work and what features we should specify in our tendering process so we plan to utilise their experience which in turn will make their jobs easier," he added.
Project Manager Ian Callow said that he and his team hope to engage all the emergency services as well as the wider medical community in the process and has already met with Julian Lewis, the new Director of Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) which manages the 911 call centre. He will also be reaching out to the Cayman Islands Medical and Dental Society (CIMDS) and first responders.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, February 19, 2016