1 January 2006
The St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office in St. Augustine, FL recently installed Telex IP-223 IP-based network remote adapters and C-Soft Windows-based consoles in their mobile command unit, bringing an exceptional level of ROIP communications interoperability and ease-of-use to the vehicle.
Each IP-223 is capable of controlling up to two two-way radio base stations, and multiple units can be easily linked together in a single rack, offering control of all radio functions—and interfacing with telephone, satellite, Ethernet, and cellular devices—in a cost effective, compact package—perfect for the needs of St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. Chris Parker of the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office commented on his unit’s introduction to the world of Telex ROIP technology:
“This was our first opportunity to use Internet radio technology. We initially heard about some of the available systems through the manufacturer of our mobile command unit, North American Catastrophe Services. They assured us that Telex ROIP was the way to go, and they were right. It has proved to be an asset not only to our main office, but also in terms of its ease of operation onboard our 48-foot unified mobile command center. This vehicle is used a great deal, not only for emergency responses, but also as a mobile EOC, and for pre-planned events within our county and surrounding counties. It was a straightforward process to assemble a system to specifically address our needs, seamlessly connecting the systems on the truck to the main dispatch office, and all with full cross-band, cross-platform interoperability.”
The St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office has an extensive list of equipment integrated into their new ROIP system, at the heart of which is the Telex IP-223. Sgt. Parker commented on the ability of the Telex IP-223 to help streamline operations:
“We have eight radios on board, and we’re using six of the Telex IP-233 units. We have three 800 MHz radio systems, three VHF systems, one UHF system, and one low-band radio that we use for the Red Cross and the National Guard. We also have five C-Soft positions onboard at this time. There are four positions in the Radio Suite, which is the main dispatch portion of our unit, and one in the conference room where we handle command and control. In addition to that, we also have a C-Soft position dedicated to programming. The systems are compact, cutting back on hardware—important on board a vehicle where space is tight—but have also increased the efficiency and response time of our dispatch team.”
The user-friendly reaction to the Telex IP-223 has been so strong that the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office also makes their equipment available for other departments around the county, such as Fire and Rescue, and city police departments. Sgt. Parker explains that the simplicity of the IP-223 is what allows his office to share their equipment quickly and easily with first-time users:
“The fact that those visiting dispatchers can come in and operate the equipment with simple point-and-click actions, instead of physically reaching for rack-mounted radio equipment and searching for channels or moving the volume up and down, has made training and use much more simple,” says Sgt. Parker. “Having the IP-223 really allows the operator to focus on their job rather than the equipment. And everyone is familiar with Windows, so training newcomers is almost unnecessary. In the past we were forced to search for dispatchers with very specific radio skills and vocabularies, but now anyone can use our new equipment.”
The combination of the Telex IP-223 and C-Soft Windows consoles adds up to a calming and familiar presence in the sometimes stressful mobile command center, especially to new users of ROIP technology. Sgt. Parker comments:
“When we bring operators in and introduce them to C-Soft, we’re able to construct a visual console that mirrors the console they’re familiar with in their own communications zone. Everything looks much like the touch screen they might have in their office. So it’s a lot more familiar and a lot easier to use, and so far the responses have been very positive.”
Sgt. Parker reports that so far he and his team have encountered no problems with their new Telex equipment. He credits the help of Telex Tech Support and user-friendly products for his crew’s seamless transition into the world of ROIP.
“Our experience with Telex has been very positive,” says Sgt. Parker. “The tech support has been very good both the online and face-to-face. They walk us through any challenges we run across. The equipment is so easy to begin with. It’s even a stretch to reconcile how simple it is to use with how sophisticated it is from a technological perspective. We’re very pleased with the Telex products and service and very happy we decided to ‘take the plunge’ into ROIP technology.”