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Emergency Services

RCM des Collines-del’Outaouais Prepares for the New Generation of 9-1-1

RCM des Collines-del’Outaouais
RCM des Collines-del’Outaouais

For nearly 30 years, the Outaouais region in Quebec has served as a popular travel destination. With a population of nearly 50,000, the Collines-de-l’Outaouais regional county municipality (RCM) is home to seven municipalities, including Cantley, Chelsea, L'Ange-Gardien, La Pêche, Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, Pontiac, and Val-des-Monts. This large region of the Outaouais contains several hundred lakes, valleys and hills—almost one fifth of which consist of the historic Gatineau Park—and offers the best of entertainment, such as museums, a casino, festivals, resorts, recreational tourism and much more.

With plenty of tourist attractions and a high rate of population growth, the RCM des Collines-de-l’Outaouais understood the importance of a good quality of life and the need for an improved feeling of security for its citizens and visitors. Hence, they took the lead in regards to the legal obligation by deciding to be proactive and quickly initiating the migration towards new technology for the processing of 9-1-1 calls which, in Canada, is currently in heavy planning and industry coordination through the CRTC Emergency Services Working Group, and will be progressively implanted between June 2020 and March 2024.

Avaya has made this possible by integrating a solution that provides next generation 9-1-1 emergency telephone service (NG9-1-1). The municipality chose to migrate its main site from the existing telephone system to Avaya IP Office™, a flexible, high-performing Unified Communications platform. Mindful that the quality of any implementation relies on the expertise of the integrator, the municipalities IT Director, Marcel Dufour and his team looked to Avaya Diamond Integrator, Combat Networks Inc., recognized as Avaya Partner of the Year since 2017. Combat Networks’ engineering know-how was key for all integration aspects of the RCM initiative, including the integration of the intercom system, the interfacing with the 9-1-1 call dispatching system, and the inclusion of the system broadcasting telephone messages via email to police officers - all solution areas where Combat Networks has extensive knowledge and experience.

“Our aim is to provide improved services to the entire population of the seven municipalities at a lower cost, while maximizing security and efficiency,” explained Dufour.

At the end of the day, our decision was based on the agility of Avaya to work with our existing technology partners and the company’s feature-rich platform.

From Analogue to VoIP

The solution that the municipality landed on was comprised of two Avaya IPO 500v2 control units that would provide resilience for its administrative IP workstations and for its main 9-1-1 center, and all digital sets have been migrated to IP stations that include full integration of the IPO 9-1-1 solution with the municipality’s existing Komutel 9-1-1 platform.

“We have been long overdue for a transition to VoIP,” Dufour said. “Although analogue systems are still widely recognized, they’re extremely limited in terms of features and functionality. In today’s digital world, we just couldn’t keep doing the same thing expecting different results.”

Making the move to VoIP has opened the floodgates of opportunity for the RCM to grow, offering a range of new applications for keeping pace and meeting diverse challenges. Employees de la Sécurité publique and of the municipal court now have a single app for calls, messaging, conferencing, and much more, on any chosen platform.

“One of the best things is that IP Office has cost-saving applications like built-in audio and video conferencing and voice and instant messaging that help reduce monthly costs,” Dufour said. “That’s huge for us to stay within budget without compromising quality of service.”

RCM des Collines-del’Outaouais

Flexibility and Choice

In addition to out-of-the-box application integration was the benefit of flexibility and choice whereas the physical wires of its existing analogue system prevented the RCM from being able to adapt and grow as needed.

“Today’s nature of work has changed so dramatically. Work is no longer somewhere you go but something you do, especially in the fields of emergency services and public safety,” Dufour explained. “There are officers in the field who need to be able to communicate with colleagues or first responders to deliver potentially life-saving care.” Avaya IP Office offers the tools these professionals need to stay engaged, productive and reachable regardless of their locations, communication channels or devices.

Of course, just as important was improving the public’s ability to reach emergency services. “It’s the most important call you’ll make in your entire life,” said Dufour. “If something were to happen to you, you would want to know that you could easily access emergency services with a reliable phone system.”

Why Avaya

“At the end of the day, our decision was based on the agility of Avaya to work with our existing technology partners and the company’s feature-rich platform. IP Office was attractive from both an operational and financial aspect in line with our needs and budget,” said Dufour.

Avaya IP Office also gives the ministère de la Sécurité publique and the municipal court freedom to migrate from their previous platforms at a pace that would work with their budgets and future needs. IP Office is currently installed at the Collines-de-l’Outaouais regional county municipality’s Sécurité publique main site, with plans to migrate and then consolidate their warm site for one seamless, unified communications experience.

Smarter Strategy, Better Outcomes

The Collines-de-l’Outaouais RCM is digitally transforming in the way it matters most: across the public services citizens consume and rely on. By managing its critical infrastructure more efficiently and offering public services more interactively, the regional municipality can lower costs and reduce risks while delivering more intelligent experiences that matter.

About RCM des Collines-del’Outaouais

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