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December 2014

Why Text-to-Speech Makes Sense for Dispatch Centers

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Automated Voice to the Rescue: Putting an End to Confused Communications

While time is of the essence when it comes to activating first-responders for an emergency, clear, accurate information about the incident is critical for ensuring a fast and appropriate reaction. Unfortunately, garbled or unintelligible communications between dispatch centers and fire stations can lead to confusion and delays.

It’s all Greek to me…

We tend to best understand those who speak in similar tones, patterns and intonations as ourselves. But consider our linguistic diversity and the subtle nuances around inflections and tones of voice across populations. Or think about the more pronounced distinctions when it comes to accents, dialects and even pronunciations. Add to that the fact that people speak at different paces, and it’s easy to see why we can struggle to understand those who speak differently than us.

Combine this with the fact that dispatch communications hit fire stations “out of the blue,” instantly relaying vital information. Those in the fire station don’t have time to adjust to the voice coming across the line – they need to immediately grasp and interpret the details of the communication. But our brains must adapt when trying to digest unfamiliar and unexpected sounds and speech patterns.

Consistent communications become a reality

Automated voice eliminates this issue, ensuring a consistent announcement every time. The system automatically takes incident details input by dispatchers and converts it to natural-sounding speech. While dispatchers are on the phone with callers, the system delivers automated broadcasts to the fire station.

The key benefit is that the output is in the same voice and inflection, at the same volume levels, every time. As a result, firefighters can more easily hear, understand and digest announcements – and get out the door faster.

The system includes a tool that allows dispatchers to modify pronunciations to tailor the articulations to local norms. For example, if a street name is being pronounced incorrectly, users can modify it. The tool makes it possible to fine-tune intonations and inflections as well..

Harvesting Incident Recital Time to Improve Response

The PURVIS Fire Station Alerting System™ includes an automated voice feature that converts incident details from text-to-speech and relays the communication to speakers inside a fire station. These communications happen rapidly and can be simultaneously broadcast to multiple responding units. By removing the extra step to recite the announcement over a PA system (for example), the system accelerates dispatch-processing times and alleviates dispatcher stress. It also frees emergency response operations staff to focus on the incident at hand and better collaborate in the dispatch center.

PURVIS Strengthens Relationship with TriTech

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PURVIS Systems has invested in developing and enhancing the integration of its Fire Station Alerting System with the TriTech Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) console. TriTech is one of the leading CAD vendors supporting 911 and other emergency dispatch centers. The company recently welcomed more than 700 attendees to San Diego for their annual “TriCon” conference, and PURVIS participated as a Gold level sponsor.

PURVIS designs and develops one of the world’s leading Fire Station Alerting Systems, which integrates seamlessly with CAD systems and then activates a variety of communications devices that enable first responders to mobilize effectively for an emergency. PURVIS integrates with TriTech’s CAD solution across several mutual customers, including Charleston County, SC and most recently Plano, TX.

Rick Foster, Vice President of the PURVIS Public Safety Division can be shown in this photograph, at TriCon 2014, discussing some of the features of the Fire Station Alerting System with a representative from the Plano Fire and Rescue Services department.