NSW Ambulance chooses Vertel to implement P25 radio network
Vertel has designed and implemented the NSW Ambulance service’s Far West Project 25 (P25) radio network upgrade to improve coverage and network performance for critical communication operations.
NSW Ambulance has more than 6000 staff, including paramedics, doctors, nurses and corporate personnel, who provide communities with emergency health care and support, clinical care, and rescue and retrieval services across the state. Each year, one in six people in the state receive care from NSW Ambulance, with a call for help every 26 seconds. 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 geographical locations across NSW had coverage; that it had adequate safety measures in place for staff; that and the network remained resilient, without outages. Vertel won the tender by providing a solution that demonstrated an understanding of the requirements needed for NSW Ambulance’s critical operations. From previous projects, Vertel was already a proven supplier to NSW Ambulance.
Worker safety is an ongoing concern for NSW Ambulance due to the number of assaults and other violent incidents involving frontline responders. Taking this into consideration, Vertel designed the platform to have GPS tracking on all vehicles and a duress button for paramedics. In the case of an emergency, the control centre knows exactly where the personnel are and can dispatch appropriate resources to assist immediately.
The network has also been designed with the user in mind, with just one channel to ensure paramedics are always on the correct channel.
Vertel also considered the critical nature of the services NSW Ambulance provides and created multiple levels of redundancy in the network to ensure a single failure will not collapse the entire network. This involves two control centres, with the primary control centre based at Dubbo and the backup centre based near Wollongong.
NSW Ambulance covers an area larger than 800,000 km2; however, some locations struggled to receive coverage with the old network. Vertel adapted the design to overcome these issues and provide coverage throughout the state, while also implementing remote network monitoring to monitor any faults in real time and rectify them straight away.
NSW Ambulance also recently received an International Critical Communications Award (ICCA) for the Best Use of Critical Communications in Public Safety Category. This award recognised the work NSW Ambulance undertook with Vertel to build its Far West P25 radio network.
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