April 4, 2013
The Transport Department of the Cook Children’s Medical Center, in Fort Worth, Texas, recently migrated from an analog dispatch console system to a fully IP-based Telex solution.
Cook Children’s Transport Department, also known as “Teddy Bear Transport,” provides pediatric and neonatal critical care transport via five ground ambulances, a helicopter, and a fixed-wing aircraft across a 17 county referral area as well as other areas within North Central and West Texas and Southern Oklahoma. They complete approximately 2300 transports annually, making them one of the busiest pediatric transport programs in the nation.“Our old system supported a limited number of resources, so some radios scanned multiple channels and we did not have the ability to see what channel someone was calling in on,” states Eric Ritzie, EMS & Communications Manager for Cook Children’s. “The new system allows us to dedicate one radio per channel and see the ID of the radio that is calling in.”
Teddy Bear Transport operations utilize VHF air-band for aircraft communications. They also use conventional VHF and UHF, as well as talk groups on the hospital’s UHF LTR system for ground communications. Additionally, they operate on a UHF LTR system that provides coverage throughout their response area.
“One of the other added benefits is the ability for the dispatchers to utilize a single headset for both radio and phone operations,” adds Brian Perry of Breakthrough Communications, the Telex Certified Dealer that performed the system installation. “The Telex C-Soft software has a built-in IP phone client that connects to their VoIP phone system, allowing the console to act as both a radio and phone simultaneously.”
“Although features of new system were our primary focus in selecting a new dispatch console, we also had to consider cost. The Telex system provided everything that we were looking for at a cost significantly below competing systems,” Ritzie added.