The State of Vermont completed its first NG 911 network implementation in 2007. With that implementation came opportunities for more efficient call distribution which allowed Vermont to truly operate as one statewide system. All eight of our PSAPs were interconnected within the NG 911 Emergency Services IP network (ESInet). Call distribution was designed to allow calls to flow seamlessly from one PSAP to another if the primary PSAP was unable to answer a call for any reason.
On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene arrived in Vermont and created extensive damage, especially in the southern parts of the state. The Rutland PSAP – our second busiest call center in terms of call volume - was in danger of flooding and had to be evacuated. Without any manual intervention, 287 calls destined for the Rutland PSAP were automatically routed to available call-takers in the remaining seven PSAPs. There were no reports of lost calls.
Had we not had the ESInet in place, calls from the four-position Rutland PSAP would have rolled over to three specific positions in just one other PSAP. The likelihood of calls waiting in queue or going unanswered would have been significantly greater.
Our NG 9-1-1 system served us well that day – remaining fully operational in spite of a PSAP evacuation, significantly higher than normal call volumes and in the midst of historic flooding and widespread damage.