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This historic time in the Critical Control Rooms industry presents unique challenges as well as opportunities. Public safety agencies and control rooms are in catch-up mode after witnessing the prevalence of advanced technology in commercial and consumer markets over many years. Emergency communications continues to be susceptible to sweeping changes in the broader communications industry. Legal and policy changes lag behind technological advances, and the prospect of modernizing is compounded by the fact that the industry is comprised of multiple public and private stakeholders that often operate independently from one another, unintentionally interrupting potential for consensus. Appropriate integration, at the control room level, is inevitable. But successful roll out will require an enhanced level of collaboration. 

In addition to these challenges, the burgeoning development of public safety broadband networks, for data, video and eventually voice communications between and among field responders and emergency call centers and control rooms, poses questions regarding myriad prospects of coordination, funding, resource sharing and interoperability yet to be fully explored. The control room is again the place where many of these related, yet often disparate, technologies must be integrated and formatted to run in a seamless environment.

Some of the topics explored in the Technology core theme include:

  • Computer aided dispatch software

  • Call-taking software (911, 112, 999, 000, etc.)

  • CCTV integration software

  • Geographic information systems (GIS)

  • Recording software (logging)

  • Records management software (RMS)

  • Voice dispatch (radio dispatch)

  • Integration with next generation three-digit emergency calling systems

  • Integration with public safety broadband/LTE systems


Current and future challenges related to crafting, updating, and maintaining control room systems are multi-faceted, with crucial factors both known and unknown. The ability to analyze the known, and ferret out the unknown, is dependent upon having a robust team of skilled professionals on hand to address the many complex issues that unfailingly arise, and to aid in paving a path to successful solutions.

The discussions within this core theme should be of interest to those looking at good practice in technology developments and integration in control rooms, product managers, ICT planners and integrators, manufacturers of consoles and other specialist control room products as well as to end users who are thinking about how best to approach a control room design project.

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