NASCIO 2004 Recognition Awards Entry
Discovering Montana’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) service
The online Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) service was launched in October 2003. This service is essential to help Montana be effect during emergency situations whether they may be local, statewide or national emergencies. Montana’s Public Safety Services Office requested the service initially as a way to gather an online inventory of 9-1-1 equipment available in each of Montana’s 58 PSAP offices spread throughout all 56 counties. The service also stores information on the metrics of each office and any other basic information on the office. For instance, how many 9-1-1 trunks are installed, how many answering positions are there, an inventory of the actual equipment including manufacturers and model numbers, how many calls are received each year, and more. The service also displays an uploaded photo of the equipment and/or workstations. The inventory was necessary as the Montana Public Safety Service office looks toward the distribution of grant monies to upgrade equipment in each of these PSAP offices to enhance 9-1-1 capabilities and emergency communications.
DiscoveringMontana.com, the official state website, developed PSAP in partnership with the Montana Department of Administration.
The innovative online PSAP service has allowed the Montana Public Safety Service office along with each PSAP office the ability to know what emergency equipment is available at each location. This type of service is very important in a vast geographic state like Montana. The service makes it possible to identify which offices need upgraded equipment and also the possibility to share resources. This is extremely important for providing public safety no matter the size of the disaster for rural communities. The online PSAP service has taken a giant step in helping to provide better homeland security in Montana.
PSAP allows local PSAP offices to view what is available across Montana and allows them to share resources. This makes enables offices to save financial resources knowing they are able to borrow equipment instead of purchase.
The benefits to citizens because of the launch of this service are enormous. Knowing that authorities have instant access to emergency equipment during a disaster means that lives will be saved.
Prior to the launch of the PSAP service, local PSAP offices did not know the inventory of emergency equipment around the state. It could take hours for them to find the information. In some instances, the emergency situation could not wait these precious hours. The site has already been used several times in emergency situations. An example is recently when a PSAP office needed a recording device immediately and did not have one. They were able to go online and see that the neighboring county had the device and within an hour they had the equipment they needed. Many hours will be saved by these agencies and potentially lives in emergency situations.