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LONG BEACH/L.A. COUNTY RECEIVE UPGRADED 9-1-1 SYSTEM -- GTE PROVIDES FEATURES FOR INCREASED EFFICINECY, RELIABILITY IN EMERGENCIES

 LONG BEACH and THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., April 12, /PRNewswire/ -- Emergency response by Los Angeles County public safety agencies has the capacity to be more efficient and reliable following a 9-1-1 system upgrade recently completed by GTE California. The upgraded system will help agencies identify and locate people with emergencies.
 GTE will complete its 9-1-1 upgrade of public safety agencies statewide by early summer.
 One of the upgraded system's new features is "Abandoned Call Trap," which locates callers in danger who cannot wait for their 9-1-1 call to be answered by a public safety agency, or answering point (PSAP). Now when a call is "abandoned," a signal is received at the PSAP, and the caller's location and phone number are identified on a computer-screen readout.
 Help can then be provided, even if the caller has not had time to communicate additional information.
 Another feature alerts the PSAP when a 9-1-1 call comes in from a person with a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), so that appropriate response and interpretation can be linked up immediately.
 GTE and the Long Beach Police Dept. will announce the completion of the upgrade in Los Angeles County at a special meeting on Wednesday, April 14, 8 a.m., at the Long Beach Police Communications Center (in City Hall).
 The LBPD is the largest PSAP in the company's service territory. The Long Beach Police Dept. has 16 different 9-1-1 lines that are routed to 12 separate 9-1-1 dispatcher positions.
 Police officials project more than 1,700 calls a day will process through the Long Beach Police Dept.'s 9-1-1 system and the department's seven-digit emergency lines. Mike Mawn, a communications supervisor for the LBPD, said, "Before the system was upgraded, a citizen's call had to be answered by 9-1-1 personnel prior to any assistance being provided."
 Mawn added, "With the upgraded 9-1-1 system, even citizens who are unable to remain on the phone long enough to have their call answered can be assisted. We will be able to reach more people in trouble, and offer a higher level of service."
 GTE began the 9-1-1 systems upgrade in November 1991, in cooperation with the State of California's 9-1-1 Program Office, said Ed Chavannes, E9-1-1 regional sales manager for GTE. He said, "The 9-1-1 system upgrade represents the finest and latest in telecommunications technology, specifically designed for public safety."
 Chavannes said the upgraded system's reliability is a major enhancement, in addition to Abandon Call Trap, TDD interfacing and other features. The upgraded system has built-in backup measures to minimize anything that could interfere with normal procedures.
 Leah Senitte, state 9-1-1 program manager, said, "Public safety is the most important issue in Southern California right now. As a partnership of public and private organizations and businesses, this upgrade to the 9-1-1 systems statewide represents a broad commitment to enhancing the safety of the citizens of Long Beach and other cities."
 The Long Beach Police Dept. is one of 90 police and fire/emergency medical PSAP's in GTE California's service territory where 9-1-1 systems are being upgraded.
 "Long Beach is the largest city in our service territory, and we are taking seriously our role to provide telecommunications solutions that address the safety and emergency response needs of the rescue- personnel and those they serve," said Robin Tole, GTE division public affairs manager in Long Beach.
 -0- 4/12/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: Members of the press are invited to the announcement/event on April 14. Call Jaya Koilpillai at 800-227-5556 (GTE 24-hour newsline) for more information./
 /CONTACT: Jaya Koilpillai of GTE California 800-227-5556 (24-hour newsline); or Mike Mawn, Long Beach Police Dept., 310-590-6077/


CO: GTE California; Long Beach Police Department ST: California IN: TLS SU:

JB-KJ -- LA022 -- 4777 04/12/93 12:43 EDT
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Date:Apr 12, 1993
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