Control rooms  |  2024-04-11

Hill County Enhances Efficiency and Expands Reach with Telex Dispatch Technology

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

The Telex system can accommodate VHF and 800 MHz communication methods, which will allow for a seamless transition to 800 MHz in the future

The Hill County Office of Emergency Management relies heavily on Telex C-Soft dispatch consoles for their communications needs. Building on its proven performance, the county is expanding their Telex solution to enhance the efficiency of their day-to-day operations and to expand its reach for enhanced communications with neighboring counties. They have used four consoles for the last seven years and plan on adding two to the mix in 2024.

Hill County established the Hill County Office of Emergency Management as a mechanism to emphasize teamwork between fire service, law enforcement, emergency medical services, faith-based organizations, and volunteers from across the community. The system allows emergency management partners to work together to ensure the safety and well-being of the community. Its strong user interface allows volunteers to feel in full control under all circumstances.

The main PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) is located at the Sheriff’s offices,” explains Chris Jackson, deputy emergency management coordinator and radio administrator. “There are three consoles at the PSAP and one at the off-site EOC (Emergency Operation Center). In addition to handling events such as natural disasters, the EOC also serves as a backup to the PSAP. The idea is that the EOC can step in if the PSAP goes down during a disaster to master the situation and coordinate efficiently and effectively.

Telex C-Soft dispatch consoles deliver the features radio dispatch offices require while providing the flexibility that only IP-based software consoles can offer – quick deployment in the field, easy backup of communications, and the ability to save multiple configurations on a single computer. This combination of user-friendly operation and interoperability are also key to regional colleagues at the Hillsboro DPS (department of public safety) making the switch to Telex consoles.

The installation of the new Telex Console Management System (CMS) will give system administrators and users a greatly improved configuration, management, and operational experience while adding enhanced, state-of-the-art security to the dispatch system. It will be hosted on a centralized web server and be entirely self-sufficient. It will also not require any outside resources, which is critical for emergencies. 

We also use six Telex IP radio gateways (IP-224) to integrate base stations to the Telex system,” adds Jackson. “We have ten different radios in the back office of the Sheriff’s office that integrate into the Telex system, allowing operators to manage all the radios easily. It’s extremely efficient.

The county also boasts a robust DFSI system, with several repeaters connected to the Telex C-Soft consoles. Although currently using VHF, the county is upgrading to an 800 MHz system utilizing a VIDA P25 trunking core. Fortunately, the Telex system can accommodate VHF and 800 MHz communication methods – another reason the county continues expanding its Telex communications system. The offices have been connected to VIDA P25 through Telex CSSI since early 2023.

"The counties to the north and south of us are already on an 800 MHz system,” explains Jackson. “800 MHz towers cover far more area than VHF towers, which means we can cover more area with less resources. In addition, upgrading to the same system will allow more connectivity between the counties and increase public safety and coverage to the region – which is what we are all about.” With the Telex system, the Hill County team can run the most efficient operation available today, while being ready for any transitions and ambitions ahead.