Kevin Konczal, Chief Revenue Officer
When a disaster threatening public safety strikes, every second counts. Responding to such emergencies requires high-level coordination between the intervening public safety agencies. However, the dispatch centers in public safety agencies often lack the ability to communicate in real-time with each other from a different city or county due to infrastructure constraints, posing a major challenge to public safety.
Addressing this communication challenge is Emerging Digital Concepts (EDC), a public safety management firm that leverages state-of-the-art CAD-to-CAD interoperability to enhance real-time intercommunication during emergency operations. Equipped with features like real-time remote unit access, remote unit dispatch, and terminal-to-terminal messaging, EDC’s flagship dispatch software Next Generation CAD Exchange (NG-CAD-X) improves emergency response times and increases situational awareness, saving lives and property. The brainchild of EDC founders Chris Wiseman and Greg Crider, NG-CAD-X was named and marketed by Kevin Konczal, who brings decades of experience as a former law enforcement officer, developing the first crime analysis software program CTRAN in 1988. “NG-CAD-X allows data sharing and interoperability between dispatch centers in police and fire departments and improves response times in public safety,” says Konczal, who currently serves as the chief revenue officer at EDC.
NG-CAD-X provides dispatchers visibility into other units, enabling them to access other units, share them and dispatch them if needed, and also intercommunicate through instant messaging between dispatch centers, fire and police departments, and other agencies. “NG-CAD-X allows a dispatch center to almost identically mirror the happenings in another agency without extra screens or infrastructure,” mentions Konczal, highlighting its advantage to dispatch centers that usually operate with limited infrastructure.
To better illustrate this feature, Konczal refers to the time when NG-CAD-X helped coordinate all the public safety agencies working to control the three massive structure fires that erupted in quick succession in Fairfax County, Virginia, in May 2018.
NG-CAD-X allows data sharing and interoperability between dispatch centers in police and fire departments, and improves response times in public safety
NG-CAD-X helped the agencies to intercommunicate on the same platform, allowing them to view and track the activities of all dispatch units. This helped them pre-plan their emergency response, enabling them to respond fast and minimize damage to life and property.
Keeping in mind the possibility of data loss during emergencies, EDC has also launched backup systems that have the capability to backup system data both for the short-term and long-term. In case of an emergency evacuation, EDC’s short-term backup center transfers the agency’s system data to a neighboring agency through the NG-CAD-X platform that keeps the data secure until the agency is back in action. EDC’s long-term backup center has the capability to move system data to the cloud in case the agency or dispatch center closes down for months owing to natural disasters like earthquakes. “Both our backup systems are cloud-based. We use MS Azure and government-compliant AWS, and we also host it on the virtualized servers that are already in the department server rooms,” informs Konczal.
Being a small, privately held company, EDC is able to achieve quick deployment of solutions from the drawing board to the field without going through layers of bureaucracy. This also helps EDC in acting swiftly to address technical issues that often arise in the field of public safety applications. Additionally, EDC sees itself as a collaborator to other CAD systems, not as a competitor, which further helps in seamlessly implementing interoperability systems, contributing to cordial working relationships with other players on the market. According to Konczal, both these approaches – agility in solution deployment and maintaining a collaborative standpoint – serve as differentiators for EDC.
Currently, EDC is working on implementing the Denver Regional Interoperability Project, which includes four agencies about to go live in August this year. As part of its long-term vision, EDC looks forward to setting up more agencies in the Washington DC and Denver areas. “The bigger picture is to get as many large-scale operations in larger regions on our system,” Konczal remarks. “It’s meant to bring everybody together in one joint operation to provide the best returns to the safety of the citizens and that of the public safety officers.”