August 6th, 2018

Federally Funded Performing Arts Center Implements Emergency Response Solution




Based in Northern Virginia, this client houses a large performing arts center amidst a large tract of public land. Formerly a working farm, the property includes several facilities and venues spread across more than 100 acres. With multiple concert stages and a capacity for several thousand attendees at any given time, it’s critical that facility operators and staff have comprehensive, advanced emergency response capabilities should an accident, illness or injury occur.

With so much property to cover and people spread all throughout it, the client needed more than just 911 functionality. There are also state and federal regulations requiring that agencies have in place appropriate emergency response capabilities so that the grounds not only provide ready and appropriate 911 access, but also that first responders have immediate awareness of and access to the scene of an emergency.

To address the security and safety risks—and to ensure compliance with federal mandates—the venue needed a solution that allows emergency first responders to precisely pinpoint emergency callers’ locations, with no time wasted on wandering and searching.


The Solution


The client had an aging Private Branch Exchange (PBX) telephone system, which no longer met the communications requirements of the venue. Working with Force 3, they wanted to upgrade their communications platform to include a solution that ensured emergency calls and responders would be routed and directed to the exact location of the caller and emergency site. Ultimately, Force 3 recommended Cisco Emergency Responder (CER), which offers a seamless integration with the Cisco Collaboration architecture.

Cisco Emergency Responder enhances the existing emergency 911 functionality offered by Cisco Unified Communications Manager by sending emergency calls to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) based on the caller’s location. In turn, the PSAP can identify the caller’s location and return the call if necessary. In addition, the system automatically tracks and updates equipment moves and changes. Deploying this capability helps ensure more effective compliance with legal or regulatory obligations, reducing the risk of liability related to emergency calls as a result.

Cisco Emergency Responder includes the following features:

  • • Real-time location-tracking for wired and wireless phones
  • • Emergency calling for off-premises users such as teleworkers and remote users
  • • Automatic notification of onsite security personnel when an emergency call is placed
  • • The ability to seamlessly move phones or staff from one location to another


The Outcome


Interestingly, CER was not part of the initial deployment with Force 3. But, once they met with Force 3 experts and learned more about the solution, they realized CER would go a long way in ensuring they were in compliance with federal requirements.

Once the solution was decided upon, Force 3 experts worked onsite and directly with the client to understand their needs, gather requirements, and to design and implement the solution.

As expected, Cisco Emergency Responder offered a seamless, high-value integration with the client’s existing Cisco Collaboration technologies. Using CER, Force 3 was able to ensure the client had secure, compliant, reliable 911 and emergency response capabilities throughout the entire property.