Omnitronics omnicore Enterprise Dispatch Interoperability Giving Surf Life Saving New Zealand a Platform to Bring Together Multiple Networks

Omnitronics Pty Ltd
Wednesday, 27 September, 2023

Omnitronics omnicore Enterprise Dispatch Interoperability Giving Surf Life Saving New Zealand a Platform to Bring Together Multiple Networks

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing drowning and injury in coastal, beach, and aquatic environments. With clubs nationwide, SLSNZ offers lifesaving services for patrolling, search and rescue operations and educational programs, ensuring safe and enjoyable recreational activities for all. As the leading beach and coastal safety authority, SLSNZ Lifeguards patrol over 15,000km of coastline across 92 locations each summer. Additionally, 40 Search and Rescue Squads across the four SLSNZ regions contribute to their efforts. Looking ahead, SLSNZ’s 2024 Strategic Priority drives them to upgrade communications technology, offering greater benefits to local and national communities.

SLSNZ decided to operate a 24/7 control-and-command room at the Auckland Marine Rescue Centre, the heart of NZ’s emergency water management: co-locating Surf Lifesaving New Zealand, NZ Police Maritime Unit, Coastguard New Zealand, and the Harbor Master under one roof. They watch over the nation’s vast coastline and provide aid during water emergency response situations.

SLSNZ was facing the challenge of unifying disparate networks across 16 areas and required a new process for the organization to manage communications nationwide. In the past, local communications were isolated, making it difficult to cooperate with neighboring clubs or other agencies.

Therefore, the key requirement was to find an agnostic system without vendor lock-in allowing communications across multiple agencies, different technologies, and large distances, hence including features like cloud-based radio dispatch, Radio over IP (RoIP), as well as technology, protocol, and vendor interoperability capabilities to unify disparate networks across the country.

“One of the reasons we are using omnicore Dispatch is because we have disparate networks including DMR Tier 2, MotoTRBO, Hytera, and Tait radios networks across the country that need to communicate with each other,” says Andy Kent, National Lifesaving Manager | SLSNZ.

They selected an omnicore dispatch solution with five simultaneous user licenses shared by 25 operators on three fixed operator stations and two additional consoles installed on laptops. Using laptops means that if stationary operators are overloaded or had to vacate the Marine Rescue Centre, they can set up one of their laptops remotely and maintain full oversight over their operations and situational awareness all over the country.

Out of hours, Coastguard New Zealand operators are monitoring the SLSNZ channels to ensure 24/7/365 coverage across the country.

After the initial soft-launch of the system for the 2022/23 summer season and the new process requiring training of 4,500 team members nation-wide, SLSNZ are planning to slowly add further functionalities, planning to expand from voice-only radio communications to include Rapid Recall, PTToC, Voice Recording, GIS, alerts, and SIP telephony integration to allow patching of interagency communications with Police, Ambulance, and medical professionals directly to the radio channels.

“Surf Lifesaving NZ will hugely benefit from the new system, not just in terms of added functionality, but also expanding to 24/7/365 coverage and interoperability with other agencies. They now work with the best tools in the trade, and we’re proud to have been part of their journey designing, installing, and commissioning the system,” adds Chris Stevens, Managing Director | Control Centre Solutions.

“We love the flexibility of the new omnicore dispatch system, the fact that we can use a combination of different radio vendors and various technologies all-in-one. We can use the GPS tracking of our Tait DMR system and simultaneously communicate on other networks,”  says Andy Kent, National Lifesaving Manager | SLSNZ.

Surf Lifesaving New Zealand’s National Mission Critical Ecosystem has been shortlisted for the “Best Use of critical communications in public safety” award 2023 by TCCA Critical Communications World.

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