Chattahoochee River 9-1-1 Authority
After nearly two years of planning, the Cities of Sandy Springs and Johns Creek opened their joint 9-1-1 center known as the Chattahoochee River 9-1-1 Authority, or ChatComm on September 1, 2009. “The immediate anticipated impact for the public will be a more rapid and more reliable response from police, fire and EMS,” said Mayor Eva Galambos. “It’s an exceptional event for both cities. We can have more control over our emergency operations than ever before.”
After incorporation, Sandy Springs and Johns Creek focused a great deal of effort building their general government services and standing up their police and fire departments. Once these agencies became operational, it was quickly apparent that the current 9-1-1 center could not support these cities as they desired. The cities contracted with iXP Corporation a New Jersey-based public safety communications consulting firm, to perform a feasibility study and provide a business case for the establishment of a joint 911 venture. This analysis reviewed anticipated revenue streams and call volumes to generate their recommendations.
The outcome established an Authority (ChatComm) that would provide 9-1-1 services for both Sandy Springs and Johns Creek. ChatComm is overseen by a two member board of directors, with each city manager having a single appointee. ChatComm elected to outsource the implementation, operation, staffing and management of the 9-1-1 center to iXP Georgia, LLC. Through this arrangement, ChatComm’s board and executive director will oversee a performance-based contract, which is the largest, and perhaps only, outsourcing of a 9-1-1 center in the United States.
The two primary performance requirements of the contract are 9-1-1 call answer time and call processing time. Specifically, iXP will be required to answer 90 percent of 9-1-1 calls within 10 seconds and process 90 percent of those calls for dispatch within 60 seconds. These industry benchmarks were not currently being achieved.
“ChatComm’s success relies on the constant collaboration between iXP and a technical advisory council, comprised of the public safety agency chiefs, city leadership and a representative from Rural/Metro Ambulance,” said Noah Reiter, Executive Director of ChatComm. “This working group will constantly review the performance of the operation, as well as evaluate new procedures and technology that will enhance field response and coordination.”