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GFD procuring new 911 system

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - The first thing you do when there's an emergency is call 911. Well, the Guam Fire Department is currently in the process of procuring a new e-911 system. Matter of fact the RFP was supposed to go out last year.

Asked for his estimate of the RFP issue date that he has control of, Fire Chief Joey San Nicolas last September told senators, "The drop dead date that I had placed on myself and the staff for this E-911 specs was October first uh drop dead date let's get it out there to GSA, I think we're on track for that."

He appeared before senators to provide an update on the Guam Fire Department's procurement of a new E-911 system. San Nicolas is currently on deployment in Afghanistan. As it stands now the agency is far from issuing the RFP.

GFD Firefighter Two Kevin Reilly said, "Right now the draft specs have been developed. We're looking at the different avenues to procure. We're looking at hosted systems we're looking at purchasing outright along with maintenance contracts that is probably the biggest hurdle being that it is a big purchase. It is a technical purchase we just want to make sure that we get the right product. And its going to service us for years to come."

GFD has been using the same Motorola Central Link E-911 system for the last 13 years. "Right now nothing's wrong with it per se. You're still able to dispatch we're still able to receive the calls. It is getting obsolete it is getting outdated just like any kind of technology we have to stay on top of it. And the more problems that we have the problems that we do encounter we're going to experience a lack of parts and a lack of ability to repair the existing system," Reilly said.

According to news files, Chief San Nicolas said the next generation E-911 system will be fully capable of utilizing 3G networking, Internet, triangulate mobile phone callers, uses GPS technology and has vehicle and incident tracking. "We're looking at getting more real time location real time identification of the callers along with new consoles for the dispatchers that will make them able to do more things from their position up at the 911 Center," he said.

At this point there's no official word when exactly the RFP will be issued, but Reilly says they are working with the Legislature as well as other agencies to get the new system procured. "It is an expensive purchase," he stated. "It is something that's very necessary. Its critical to our island and we want to make sure that we get the best one."

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