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iXP Creates Master Plan for Jefferson County, AL, Improving its Public Safety and Effectiveness of its First Responders

Case study: iXP Creates Master Plan for Jefferson County, AL, Improving its Public Safety and Effectiveness of its First Responders

Jefferson County, Ala.

Sector: Government

Focus: Strategic Planning Consulting

Business problem: Jefferson County is the most densely populated county in Alabama, with a population of approximately 680,000 over an area of 1,124 square miles. Within the county are 19 separate public safety answering points (PSAPs, or 911 call-taking locations) and an equal number of dispatch facilities that coordinate the emergency responses of 65 fire and EMS departments and 29 law enforcement agencies. With such a large infrastructure, the County is seeking to improve the operating efficiency of communication among its public safety agencies. Ultimately, the County’s priority is to ensure its first responders had the tools in place to effectively respond to all local and countywide emergencies. For this, they turned to iXP.

iXP solution: The iXP team delivered several in-depth technology and operational assessments for Jefferson County, bringing to bear iXP’s unique methodology (SAIF®, the Solution Architecture Integration Framework) and extensive expertise and experience in public safety emergency communication planning. iXP worked closely with Jefferson County to:

  • Define the county’s preliminary public safety goals, objectives and priorities;
  • Analyze all aspects of the county’s numerous existing PSAP and dispatch units, including operations, equipment and technology;
  • Review emergency communications policies and procedures to ensure compliance with generally accepted public safety communications practices and national standards;
  • Inform the county of relevant emerging technologies and solutions; and
  • Develop a comprehensive strategic plan, articulating a basic direction and vision for collocating call-taking and dispatch operations into one Jefferson County Emergency Communications Facility; the benefits and challenges associated with such a project; and recommended next steps.

Problem Solved: iXP’s recommendations provided Jefferson County with essential information about its current multiple emergency communications environment, insight about collocation advantages and concerns, a solid understanding of the project scope, and a blueprint for moving the project toward design, funding and implementation. iXP has given Jefferson County the necessary decision-making tools to strengthen or reevaluate its commitment to collocation as a means of improving public safety and the effectiveness of its first responders.

Client information: Established in 1819, Jefferson County is located in the north-central part of Alabama, on the southern extension of the Appalachian Mountains and in a region known for its vast deposits of iron ore, coal and limestone. Birmingham, the county seat, was named for England’s iron and steel center in Warwickshire.

Visitors to Jefferson County can explore the 23-acre Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge, which provides protection for the endangered watercress darter, a small, very colorful fish; enjoy music by legendary jazz greats immortalized at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, in the historic Carver Theatre; tour Sloss Furnaces, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, gardens, art galleries, and automobile, motorcycle and aviation museums; gaze up at Vulcan, which - at 55 feet tall and 102,605 pounds - is the largest cast-iron statue in the world; and even feast on fried green tomatoes at the Irondale Café, better known as the Whistle Stop Café.