Emergency Services

Management Summary

Emergency ServicesThe business need in this project was to reduce costs while in the process decreasing, by a minimum of two minutes, the time it takes emergency services personnel (police, fire, EMT) to reach the incident location.  Ask an emergency medical doctor the benefit of reaching a patient two minutes earlier and you will be surprised at level of impact on the patient’s outcome.  The focus of the project was to replace the manual emergency services phone call with an electronically automated request.  This project did just that, thus allowing business to reach its goal.


  • Alarm Monitoring Centers receive:
    • Signals from automated sensors located in both commercial structures and homes
    • Manually activated panic alarms requesting help for law enforcement, fire, and medical emergencies
  • The Alarm Monitoring dispatcher will:
    • In some cases, attempt to verify the alarm by making contact by telephone with the persons in the residence
    • When appropriate, request the dispatch of the appropriate emergency services
  • The request for emergency services is a telephone call to an Emergency Service Center dispatcher.
  • The elapsed time of this call is rarely less than two minutes.

Business Objectives

  • Reduce costs to both the Emergency Service Centers and the Alarm Monitoring Centers
  • Enhance the ability to dispatch emergency services during a widespread emergency
  • Enhance communications between Alarm Monitoring Centers and responders
  • Reduce emergency response time by two minutes

Functional Requirements

  • Replace telephone call with electronic messages
  • Employ the existing public safety network that currently communicates with Emergency Service Centers
  • Provide security to protect the highly sensitive public safety network
  • Allow Alarm Monitoring Centers computers to directly communicate alarm-related messages with Emergency Service Centers dispatching computers
  • Automate address verification of the places to which the Alarm Monitoring Centers may request the dispatch of emergency services
  • Support continuous operations 24/7/52

Technical Requirements

  • End-point support
    • Up to 200 Alarm Monitoring Centers
    • Up to 6,500 Emergency Service Centers
  • Safe store requests as soon as possible to prevent lost requests
  • Pass all service requests through an intrusion detection appliance (i.e., a web application firewall)
  • Flow control low-priority Address Verification Requests, only permitting a configured number of in-process messages.
  • Do not allow flow control issues between a particular set of endpoints to impact communication between any other endpoints
  • Audit everything
  • Measure everything


The Plexus Message Broker was modified to create an electronic interface between the Emergency Service Centers and the Public Safety Centers reducing the call time to about 0.2 seconds, eliminating the minutes it took to make a manual phone call.  The business objective of reducing the emergency service response time by two minutes was achieved.