Seconds matter when working to protect citizens and save lives. More and more every day, this work requires agencies and even jurisdictions to come together to get the job done.
At Motorola Solutions, we’ve been fortunate to come together with many of you to learn what makes the most difference to your outcomes in these seconds. And, over the next few months, we’ll share your pearls of wisdom in a series entitled “Topics That Matter When Seconds Matter.” It’s because, together, no matter if through consolidation or information sharing, we are better as we address the challenges all public safety agencies face. Rodney Thompson, Communications Coordinator with Roanoke County, VA, gives us great examples why.
Rodney has been with Roanoke County for 33 years and has seen much change in how agencies work together, especially as it relates to the use of their radio systems. It was over 20 years ago when the County and the city of Roanoke began sharing their previous radio system. But, P25, as he says, “put a whole new spin” on how they share their current Motorola Solutions ASTRO® 25 radio system. For Rodney, it’s a new environment he’s proud of.
“There was a time when we lived in silos. We didn’t know what the other jurisdictions were doing. But, technology has evolved. And, it only makes sense in the world we live in–especially after 9/11–to no longer live in those silos. We serve our citizens better.”
The Project 25 (P25) compliant Motorola ASTRO 25 system is shared among nearly 70 agencies in the Roanoke Valley. This area comprises most of Roanoke County and the two independent cities of Roanoke and Salem, thus they have dubbed the collaborating agencies the Roanoke Valley Radio System. The departments and agencies that make up the System range from public safety to public works to transportation and more. Interoperability has also allowed the System to expand its geographical footprint to adjacent Franklin County with which it shares sites. Sharing the system minimizes the total cost of ownership since each agency shares the cost, thereby reducing their individual costs and taxpayer costs. But, the benefits extend far beyond the financial aspects.
“The key benefit is the enhanced service we provide our citizens, and it’s one citizens don’t even realize they’re getting. When they need help, they don’t really care who’s coming to get them–which jurisdiction they come from–as long as somebody’s coming. But, in the situations when they do realize they’re receiving help from another jurisdiction, they find it interesting we all work together. Citizens no longer want to be in silos either.”
Breaking down these silos at all levels results in the opportunity for greater information sharing. Rodney says, “I think what Motorola Solutions is trying to do with its unified platform (CommandCentral Suite) is remove the silos and compile all that data and manage it in such a way that we can more easily look at. I truly believe that whenever we can save seconds or minutes or hours to help our citizens, that’s really the bottom line.”
Rodney believes the cooperation among agencies serving the Roanoke Valley will continue to grow, whether at the local, state or Federal level. And, he’ll continue to not only promote it, but facilitate their ‘coming together’ whenever possible.
Hear Rodney speak about the changes he’s seen and the benefits experienced in coming together in the video below. And, make plans to stay with us as we discuss more topics that matter, when seconds matter.
For more information, visit Motorola Solutions CommandCenter Software Suite.