the NSW Ambulance The service upgraded the Far West Project 25 (P25) radio network with improved network coverage and performance for critical communications operations.
NSW Ambulance has more than 6,000 employees, including paramedics, doctors, nurses and company staff, who provide communities with emergency health care and support, clinical care and rescue services and recovery across the state. Every year, one in six people in the state receives care from NSW Ambulance, with a call for help every 26 seconds1. April 2021 marked 125 years of operation for the NSW Ambulance Service.
NSW Ambulance needed a partner to redesign its P25 network to ensure that all geographic locations in NSW were covered, that it had adequate security measures for personnel and that the network remained resilient without failures.
Private telecommunications operator Vertel won the tender by providing a detailed solution that demonstrated an understanding of the requirements for critical NSW Ambulance operations. The company, which has proven to be a trusted supplier to NSW Ambulance on previous projects, designed and implemented the P25 upgrade.
Steven Norris, Deputy Commissioner of NSW Ambulance and Director of Control Centers, said: “NSW Ambulance needed a solution that could tailor the network and P25 features to provide network redundancy and communications that improve safety. staff and patients. Vertel understood the nature of our operations. The team worked closely with NSW Ambulance staff to create a dedicated network that keeps our staff and paramedics safe, user-friendly and provides reliable coverage so we can continue to provide the best extra care. hospitals possible in remote areas. parts of New South Wales.
Worker safety is a constant concern for NSW Ambulance due to the number of assaults and other violent incidents involving frontline responders. In view of this, Vertel designed the platform to have GPS tracking on all vehicles and a duress button for paramedics. In the event of an emergency, the control center knows exactly where the personnel are and can dispatch the appropriate resources for immediate assistance.
The network was also designed with the user in mind, with a single channel to ensure paramedics are always on the correct channel.
Vertel has also taken into account the critical nature of the services provided by NSW Ambulance and created multiple levels of redundancy in the network to ensure that a single outage will not collapse the entire network. These are two control centers, with the main control center based in Dubbo and the emergency center based near Wollongong.
NSW Ambulance covers an area of over 800,000 km2; however, some locations struggled to receive coverage with the old network2. Vertel adapted the new design to overcome these issues and provide statewide coverage, while implementing remote network monitoring to monitor faults in real time and correct them immediately.
Tony Hudson, Vertel Commercial Director, said: “Vertel has a long history of providing the market with infrastructure and technologies for critical communications. Using our expertise in this area, we designed the NSW Ambulance Far West P25 radio network, understanding the critical nature of its operations and ensuring network resiliency. This is a strategic victory for Vertel that aligns with our philosophy of smarter, healthier, safer, providing essential communications to remote communities.
NSW Ambulance also recently received an International Critical Communications Award (ICCA) for Best Use of Critical Communications in the Public Safety category. The ICCAs are the most prestigious awards in critical communications, recognizing the success of products, organizations and individuals in pushing the boundaries and capabilities in the field. This award recognizes the work undertaken by NSW Ambulance with Vertel to build its Far West P25 radio network.