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Final Regional 911 Consultant's Report Includes 21 Recommendations
- Fitch finds County's E-911 system funding sufficient; says improvements will require significant organizational and cultural change -
DATE: December 21, 2016
Brett Bayag, Acting Director
Office or Regional Communications and Technology


Alphonso Jefferson, Assistant County Administrator

BROWARD COUNTY, FL - County Administrator Bertha Henry released the Phase 2 Fitch and Associates report on Regional 911 today, culminating a months-long effort to independently analyze stakeholder perceptions of Broward's new emergency response system and offer recommendations for improvement.

The report includes Observational Findings and 21 recommendations in four areas: Technology, Governance and Oversight, Performance Measures, and Effectiveness and Efficiency. "The County's ongoing investment in E-911 infrastructure and improved operations since consolidation has helped identify opportunities for improved performance, many of which are already implemented or underway," said Henry. "We welcome the consultant's report and will move quickly to evaluate and respond to each recommendation. Some of the recommendations require stakeholder review, input or approval to implement."

Phase 2 report brings forward findings from the Phase 1 report, initially released in August 2016. The report acknowledges numerous improvements already achieved by the consolidated system - including the virtual elimination of call transfers and one of the fastest E-911 call answer times in the nation. The report also concludes that funding of the system is sufficient, and acknowledges that many of the proposed improvements will require significant organizational and cultural change.

Henry requested the consultant assessment after system stakeholders, which include 29 of Broward's 31 municipalities and the Broward Sheriff's Office, expressed concern about the relevance and utility of 911 performance metrics. Stakeholders agreed to the metrics in October 2014, at the onset of consolidation, but improved reporting has brought new issues to light and called some of the established goals and metrics into question.

To conduct the assessment, Fitch and Associates interviewed stakeholders including elected, appointed and senior management officials, directors, managers and supervisory personnel; observed operations in the three Public Service Answering Points and in the field; surveyed dispatch personnel; and analyzed data from legacy systems.

The consolidated regional system was implemented as part of a long-range plan to achieve E-911 "closest unit response" as mandated by the voters in 2002. Regionalization consolidated several independently run 911 systems in Broward into a single, more effective and efficient countywide system. 

Activities undertaken by Broward County since it consolidated 911 operations include:
  • Procured a new $4.2 million Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system which will be launched in the first quarter of 2017, replacing a 22-year old inherited system that will interface to the E-911 system, radio system, Regional Law and Fire Records systems, and paging and toning systems - all systems vital to receiving, processing and implementing rapid response to 911 calls for help.
  • In the final stages of procurement for a new state-of-the-art radio system, estimated to be in excess of $40 million, to replace a 30-year-old inherited system. The Board of County Commissioners is expected to approve vendor selection soon.
  • Implemented a system-wide Incident Management Tracking System and Quality Improvement Program.
  • Launched a new system so residents, businesses and visitors who use 911 can provide feedback on their call experience, through an online feedback form, or by calling the Broward County Call Center at 311. Feedback will be used to enhance the 911 experience for future users.

About Regional Communications and Technology
The Office of Regional Communications and Technology (ORCAT) manages, administers and provides oversight of the countywide consolidated E911 communication system. Responsibilities include the design, implementation and maintenance of the public safety infrastructure used to respond to E911 calls on a 24/7 basis, including the Computer Aided Dispatch System (CAD) and radio system, which enable rapid emergency response to 911 callers for lifesaving assistance in Broward County. The Regional Consolidated E911 Dispatch System is overseen by ORCAT and operated by the Broward Sheriff's Office via a Performance Based Contract with the County Commission. For more information, visit our website.