Navigating Winter Storms With Tech

June 28, 2022 by Kate Nadolski

Navigating Winter Storms With Tech

Dispatchers and telecommunicators are no strangers to situations that can turn on a dime. That’s why these individuals were ready to go when a winter storm – uncharacteristic for the area – dumped a foot of snow on the community.

To deal with this situation, Calvert County Emergency Communications in Maryland knew they could continue to provide emergency services to the community through innovative thinking and their public safety software solutions.

Snow makes driving dangerous everywhere, but it’s even more dangerous when it occurs in areas where drivers are unfamiliar with navigating in hazardous winter weather. The heavy snowfall not only collected on the roadways. But, combined with the storm’s wind and weight of the snow, trees were snapped into pieces blocking roads, and electrical lines were down everywhere.

The chaos of the storm resulted in emergency calls flooding the Calvert County Emergency Communications Center.

Using the mapping tool within Tyler Technologies’ Enterprise CAD and features in Enterprise Fire Field Mobile solutions, first responders created map events in areas with downed trees, blocked roads, powerline hazards, and other incidents.

Officers on the street could view this map in real time and increase their situational awareness and safety, allowing them to reroute to calls for service on their own and free up dispatchers.

The map was used as a focal point between dispatchers, officers, and fire crews to deal with all incidents at hand. Data from the map was even exported and provided to the highway maintenance dispatcher, allowing road crews to plow the snow and clear roads as efficiently as possible while avoiding incidents that involved trees and power lines.

This method also prevented units from being dispatched to duplicate incidents since a single incident can result in multiple emergency calls. Calvert County managed 105 emergencies that day, efficiently and quickly dealing with each as it occurred.

“Officers could see all active incidents in real time using map events, which increased their situational awareness and allowed dispatchers to focus on other essential duties instead of having to provide directions to units in the field,” said Operations Supervisor Timothy Biscoe.


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