Monterey County Emergency Communications



By Joe Livernois -April 9th, 2004
Herald Salinas Bureau

The sun broke through the morning gloom of Salinas on Tuesday and the 911 emergency dispatchers of Monterey County didn’t know exactly what to think.

“It’s a shock to have sunlight,” said Brian Daly, peering out the bank of brand-new windows in the brand-new emergency dispatch building on Natividad Road that was christened early Tuesday.

Dispatchers from the old Monterey office moved into the new $7.4 million building Tuesday. Their counterparts from Salinas will join them within two weeks. For decades, the emergency dispatchers have been working out of the windowless and cramped basements beneath the courthouses in both Salinas and Monterey. The view out the new dispatch center’s windows isn’t exactly breathtaking – mostly the nearby back entrance to Natividad Medical Center – but the sun did stream in Tuesday morning.

“I think some people had a bunker mentality when it came to emergency dispatch for a lot of years,” said Lynn Diebold, the emergency dispatch chief who has guided the construction of the new building for the past five years. “The thinking was, put dispatchers in holes in the ground for reasons of security,” she said. “But there is a need to give people a better working environment.”

n addition to the new and improved physical plant, Diebold and other emergency dispatch administrators say the consolidation of the two old dispatch centers, along with new technology, will be more efficient.

“This is the culmination of more than five years of planning,” said Dave Dalby, assistant director of the county’s information technology department, which provided much of the technical planning for the center. “We came in on time and on budget. And we will be able to handle the work much more efficiently.”
The county’s 911 Emergency Dispatch Center is unique to California. Under contract with almost every local public-safety agency in the county, the center takes more than 600,000 calls and initiates emergency responses to more than 125,000 incidents every year, Diebold said. Costs of the operations – and the new building – are shared by the participating agencies, though the state and federal government chipped in about $1.7 million to build the new 14,000-square-foot center.

The building will also house the county’s Office of Emergency Services and the Emergency Operations Center, which will move in next week. Early Tuesday, dispatchers and crews were busily working out minor glitches with a new phone system while fielding dozens of telephone calls.
“It’s all new, so it’s too early to say how it works,” said Daly.

The building is wired with more than 17 miles of cable, and the new 110-foot radio tower outside the center on Natividad Road can link to 27 radio stations and a major repeater at Toro Peak.

For more Info on the 9-1-1 Center Project visit:



Wireless E9-1-1 Project


In accordance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Order 94-102, the California 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Office (State 9-1-1 Office) has launched a project to implement enhanced 9-1-1 services (Wireless E9-1-1) for wireless telephone users throughout California. Project objectives include preparing all California Public Safety Answer Points to accommodate the information to be delivered by wireless carriers under Phase I and Phase II of the Order. Phase I specifies that the telephone number and receiving cell site or sector of the 9-1-1 caller be delivered to the Public Safety Answer Points. Phase II adds a more precise location, (usually with 50-100 meter accuracy or better) in the form of latitude/longitude coordinates, to the Phase I information.

A major emphasis of the wireless project is the redistribution of statewide wireless 9-1-1 call volumes to local Public Safety Answer Points. Currently a limited number of California Highway Patrol (CHP) communication centers handle the overwhelming majority of wireless 9-1-1 calls. To accommodate these routing changes, new legislation was passed in 2000 (Assembly Bill 1263) and signed into law by Governor Gray Davis, effective January 1, 2001. This will allow approximately 500 local Public Safety Answer Points to assist the 24 CHP communication centers in handling the estimated 7 million wireless 9-1-1 calls made in California each year.

The 4 levels/phases of service are:
Phase 1: CHP will use public switched telephone network (PSTN) to transfer calls to other Public Safety Answer Points. Minimal telltale (jurisdiction information at the bottom of the Address Location Identification) will be provided to CHP.

Phase 2: Adds the enhanced transfer feature to level 1 so that the CHP will be able to transfer wireless 9-1-1 calls to other Public Safety Answer Points and have them receive the phase 1 and phase 2 data elements. Selective Routing Central Offices will be linked tandem to tandem. Pacific Bell and GTE will support the tandem-to-tandem phase 2 portion of this project.

Phase 3: Adds selective routing based on cell sector. This level will provide for selective routing to both CHP and no CHP Public Safety Answer Points based on cell sectors.

Phase 4: Adds wireless call routing based on XY coordinates, to the most appropriate PSAP. Adds telltale information so that Public Safety Answer Points can selectively transfer calls to other E9-1-1 Public Safety Answer Points.

For more info



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