(Washington, DC) Office of Unified Communications Director Karima Holmes today cut a ribbon, officially dedicating a new call simulation lab. Standing with DC Deputy Mayor of Public Safety and Justice Kevin Donahue, Holmes called the lab a great “step forward in our preparation for Next Generation 911 and the future of public safety communications.”
The facility, made possible through a $200,000 capital expenditure, gives OUC operators an opportunity to test and troubleshoot new technology as it becomes available and as the agency moves closer toward implementation of NG 911. The ability to send video, photos, data and other digital information directly to first responders will enhance situational awareness and allow first responders to better do their jobs.
During the event, OUC officials presented a simulated 911 call to give media in attendance a chance to see how the system works. The scenario presented was a house fire. The lab was able to route a 911 call to a universal call taker, who then assessed the call and sent it to the fire dispatcher so a box alarm could be transmitted.
“We are ahead of the game in terms of implementing NG 911,” said Director Holmes. “We must continue to keep up with the innovations in order to give our first responders the best information and service possible. And that translates into a better protected public.”