Cape Town Uses Smart Tech to Dispatch Emergency Services

The City of Cape Town is the first in SA to use the latest technology to integrate six emergency and policing services onto one platform, facilitating collaboration across multiple agencies.

This is according to Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith, addressing delegates at the Saphila 2017 Conference, taking place at the Sun City Resort in the North West province.

Smith discussed the highly efficient cloud-based system which integrates six emergency and policing services in the city – the Traffic Department, law enforcement agencies, the Metro Police Department, Disaster Risk Management Centre, Emergency Medical Services, and the Special Investigative Unit.

“The first of its kind in SA, the emergency policing and incident command (EPIC) system integrates emergency public services to speed processes following an emergency phone call. It is used to help fire fighters combat fires around the city, to seamlessly dispatch emergency vehicles and to collect crime-related data.”

The programme, which has been developed over the past two years using the expertise of technology solution provider EOH, works with interactive maps to facilitate collaboration and co-ordination across the various contact centres. It aims to improve the delivery of services in Cape Town’s public safety environment, added Smith.

“Before the system, we had five legacy systems running in parallel, in the emergency services contact centres. Emergency phone calls were taken manually without any visual display of data, mapping and tracking of dispatched vehicles. Calls had to be transferred manually via a radio phone call and then handed over to a dispatcher who had no way of knowing how to locate all the emergency resources of other departments.”

EPIC, continued Smith, brings a better quality of experience from the time a phone call reaches the emergency contact centre, to the time the agent dispatches a vehicle and views it on the monitor, tracking it to the emergency destination.

“The programme provides city response teams with an integrated and immediate multi-disciplinary response with accurate, up-to-the-minute situational awareness possible, across all the city’s public safety services,” he concluded.

The City says it hopes to work with other provinces to roll out EPIC nationally.