Brett Bayag, manager of the Office of Communications Technology addresses members of the Florida E911 Board.
Brett Bayag, manager of the Office of Communications Technology addresses members of the Florida E911 Board.
Broward County’s Office of Communications Technology (OCT) is not only changing the face of emergency response in Broward County, but is also making an impact on the state scene.

OCT was established by the County to manage, administer and provide oversight of the countywide consolidated E911 communication system. A significant part of OCT’s responsibilities is to develop, design and maintain the infrastructure to respond to E911 calls on a 24/7 basis, thereby enabling rapid emergency response to 911 callers for lifesaving assistance in Broward County. These responsibilities transitioned to the County in October 2012 as part of a plan to consolidate municipality 911 response operations into a regional consolidated 911 system. Recently, officials visited OCT from the state of Florida E911 Board to hear a presentation of the County’s initiative.

While in Broward, E911 Board members and guests toured the County’s Central Regional Consolidated Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in Sunrise and were briefed by OCT staff on the County’s E911 consolidation project. Brett Bayag, E911 manager, made the presentations. The E911 Board also met Tony Sabin, consolidation program manager; Daniel Revis, public safety applications manager, and Jose De Zayas, public safety wireless communications manager, all from OCT.

“The Florida E911 Board was very much interested in our success in consolidating E911 operations, technology, processes and policies,” said Bayag.

OCT staff of 19 is charged with overseeing the infrastructure and with managing, administering and providing oversight of the operations associated with the County’s consolidated public safety communications system, and the applications supporting the regional E911 consolidated dispatch system. They support 22 law enforcement and fire rescue agencies throughout the County, and 10 dispatch centers rely on them for efficient and reliable public safety infrastructure and application services.

That’s no small assignment. E911 call volume averages 1.5 million calls per year with 80 percent of those calls coming into the system from a mobile device, 15 percent from a landline and 5 percent from data transmitted over the Internet. Being responsive is the number one priority. “Our goal is to have at least 90 percent of our calls answered within 10 seconds and a unit dispatched within 90 seconds,” said Bayag.

As part of the regional consolidation, Broward County will reduce 10 dispatch centers down to five, to cut the number of misrouted E911 calls, shorten response times, increase efficiency and save taxpayer dollars.

In February, the Pompano Beach PSAP successfully migrated into the County’s North Regional Consolidated PSAP. The cities formerly dispatched by the Pompano Beach PSAP join the cities of Margate and Coconut Creek in the North Regional Consolidated PSAP. The success of this most recent merger was the result of a very carefully planned and executed effort between Broward County's Office of Communications Technology and the cities of Pompano Beach, Lighthouse Point, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Sea Ranch Lakes, Pembroke Pines and Broward Sheriff's Office Regional Communications Division.

Additional consolidations will continue throughout the year. Broward County has contracted with the Broward Sheriff’s Office to operate the new consolidated system, in which the majority of the County will operate under a unified countywide technology platform utilizing common processes.

For more information on the Office of Communications Technology, visit Broward.org/CommunicationsTechnology.
  Chuck Freeman, right, Florida E911 Board vice chair and 911 systems manager for Pinellas County; and Tom Nadler, left, Florida E911 Board Member and Sprint/Nextel District Manager of South Georgia and Florida Government, Education and Healthcare, listen to Bayag’s presentation.
Chuck Freeman, right, Florida E911 Board vice chair and 911 systems manager for Pinellas County; and Tom Nadler, left, Florida E911 Board Member and Sprint/Nextel District Manager of South Georgia and Florida Government, Education and Healthcare, listen to Bayag’s presentation.