Ventura County Fire Department Utilizes AirLink® Gateways to Improve Public Safety Services

The Ventura County Fire Department in Camarillo, California responds to a wide variety of emergencies and requests for assistance including medical emergencies, traffic accidents, land and water rescues, hazardous material incidents, and a myriad everyday public-service requests.

Business Challenge

With the Ventura Co. FCC dispatching for the fire department, all of the county’s private ambulance companies and all but one of the municipal fire departments, the county’s need for reliable equipment is critical. In addition to new CAD, radio and telephone dispatch systems within the center, mobile computers and global positioning system (GPS) modems were also installed in each of the 125 vehicles — including fire trucks and EMS vehicles. This radically changed the way resources were allocated to the scene of an emergency by allowing operators to locate and dispatch vehicles according to their actual proximity to an incident, improving the delivery of fire services and EMS throughout the county.

Unfortunately, the public safety technicians began seeing a drop-off in GPS system performance soon after launch. Tom Guerrero, Network Specialist III at the County of Ventura, described the system as “intermittent.” “When the units were at the stations, they were having a rough time getting GPS coordinates and were losing signal out in the field,” explained Guerrero.

Sierra Wireless AirLink Solution

Guerrero and his team began by testing the AirLink gateways at two stations where the fire department was experiencing the most signal problems. The wireless in-vehicle mobile computer and integrated into the FCC’s CAD system, allowing dispatch and vehicle operators to utilize GPS mapping software to quickly and easily locate vehicles in the field.

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