Monday, 29 November 2021 11:45

NSW Ambulance picks Vertel to upgrade its Far West Project 25 radio network


Telecommunications carrier Vertel has been tasked by New South Wales Ambulance to design and implement its Far West Project 25 (P25) radio network upgrade to improve coverage and network performance for critical communication operations.

NSW Ambulance needed a partner to redesign its P25 network to ensure all geographical locations across NSW had coverage, adequate safety measures in place for staff, and network resilience.

Vertel won the tender by demonstrating an understanding of the requirements needed for NSW Ambulance’s critical operations. Vertel says it was already a trusted supplier to NSW Ambulance.

“Vertel understood the nature of our operations. The team worked closely and collaboratively with NSW Ambulance staff to create a dedicated network that ensures the safety of our staff and paramedics, is user-friendly, and provides reliable coverage so we can continue to provide the best possible out-of-hospital care in remote areas of NSW,” says NSW Ambulance assistant commissioner and director of control centres Steven Norris.

Worker safety is an on-going concern for NSW Ambulance due to the number of assaults and other violent incidents involving frontline responders. Taking this into consideration, Vertel implemented a GPS tracking on all vehicles and a duress button for paramedics.

In cases of emergency, the control centre knows exactly where the personnel are and can dispatch the appropriate resources to assist immediately.

The network has also been designed with the user in mind with just one channel to ensure paramedics are always onboard.

Vertel also considered the critical nature of the services that NSW Ambulance provides and created multiple levels of redundancy in the network to ensure a single failure will not collapse the entire network. This involves two control centres: the primary control centre based at Dubbo and the back-up centre based near Wollongong.

NSW Ambulance says it covers an area larger than 800,000 square kilometres. However, some locations struggled to receive coverage with the old network.

Vertel adapted a new design to overcome these issues by providing coverage throughout the state while also implementing remote network monitoring to monitor any faults in real time.

“Vertel has a long-standing history of supplying the market with infrastructure and technology for critical communications,” claims Vertel commercial director Tony Hudson. “Using our expertise in this field, we designed the NSW Ambulance Far West P25 radio network, understanding the critical nature of its operations and ensuring the network is resilient.”

NSW Ambulance has more than 6,000 staff, including paramedics, doctors, nurses, and corporate personnel, who provide communities with emergency healthcare and support, clinical care, and rescue and retrieval services across the state. Each year, one in six people in the state receive care from NSW Ambulance, with a call for help every 26 seconds. April 2021 marked 125 years of the operation for the NSW Ambulance service.

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 17 November 2021.

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