That’s when Mahoney learned about Avtec dispatch consoles. The DRECC’s vision was to stay on the cutting edge of technology for emergency communications, and the version of Avtec’s dispatch console at the time exceeded the definition of ‘cutting edge’ — with its direct wireline control of repeaters and use of fiber optics. Back then, most dispatch console communication systems relied purely on radio-frequency (RF).
User-operability was another challenge. According to Mahoney, “When we added the third town to our regional PSAP, there wasn’t enough real estate on the screen to fit the amount of information our dispatchers needed.”
There wasn’t enough real estate in the building for the dispatchers, either. After adding that third town, the PSAP’s existing building was torn down, so a new and larger facility could be constructed on the same site. That meant that the model agency for regional 9-1-1 in Massachusetts would operate from inside a FEMA trailer for an entire year.
A year later, the center moved into its new facility and migrated from the Avtec hardware dispatch system to the new, software-based Avtec Scout system. It also officially changed its name: the DRECC was now the ROCCC. The ROCCC also added two more towns to its coverage area — Hanson and Hanover — dispatching police, fire and EMS for a total of five communities in 2019.
Rochester, Massachusetts was the most recent town to join the ROCCC. The town is located roughly 40 miles south of Duxbury and is in no way contiguous with the rest of the municipalities serviced by the ROCCC. Yet, its inclusion into the regional PSAP demonstrated how the improved technology of the Avtec Scout dispatch console helped to improve the lives of Rochester’s citizens and the growth of the ROCCC.
And that is the real beauty of the Avtec Scout system: dispatchers can be located a million miles away; but when first responders hear them on the radio, the dispatchers sound as if they’re talking from the same town. “That one aspect of the Scout system made our lives a lot easier, for sure,” said Mahoney.
But it was far from the only benefit the Scout dispatch console provided. Tertiary redundancies of all systems were high on the ROCCC’s list of ‘have to have’ features. Because dispatchers are always in response mode, they need a system that delivers without fail, regardless of where the technology is located. The Scout console was (and still is) designed with built-in redundancy layers, ensuring the ROCCC’s dispatchers were ‘always on’ with exceptional audio quality during times when every second matters.
Scalability was also a must-have benefit for the ROCCC. Mahoney added, “We haven’t slowed down, yet. We’ve still got our foot on the gas pedal for growth. We want to add new communities and better services. When it came to communication ability, we needed to be confident that we could scale our dispatch operation up to eight, 10 or 12 times our normal dispatch seats — at a moment’s notice, if necessary.” The Scout console made it easy for the ROCCC to increase its number of users and to access their dispatch resources from any location.
But it was one of the Scout console’s innate yet sometimes overlooked features that Mahoney mentioned as most valuable to the ROCCCs operations: its multiple log-in capability.