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A Year in Service – eChat Transceivers at the Szombathely Public Space Inspectorate

Szombathely is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Hungary. The city's Public Space Inspectorate covers an area of 97.5 km², using 14 eChat transmitters and a Dispatch System for communication on a daily basis for more than a year. We were curious to see how the radios were working, so we called Sándor Ágoston, head of the Public Space Inspectorate, and asked him for a mini interview.

 Please tell us about the operation of your organisation and the areas where you use eChat radios.

 The City's Public Space Inspectorate operates under the auspices of the Mayor's Office. The Public Surveillance Department operates and permanently monitors a public safety surveillance camera system consisting of more than 80 cameras in the city. We also receive telephone calls and reports from the public. The public area service is managed by the head of the Service Management Centre via POC radio. Since all the service branches are equipped with POC radios, all my colleagues can hear who is on duty at which location. This is extremely important for communication, as not only a particular patrol pair knows about a specific task, but essentially all the staff on duty. It allows them to help each other, especially when it comes to a large-scale incident. The radios are not only used in public service but have also proven effective in the internal office system.

 There is also a 4-person Field Patrol Service within the Public Space Inspectorate’s organisational structure. Their task is to control the fields and ploughs on the outskirts of the municipal territory of the city, as well as the municipal areas. The Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Service is also part of the Public Space Inspectorate, consisting of 2 animal keepers. Their main tasks are to catch and care for stray or aggressive dogs and to facilitate their adoption.

  Szombathely körzetület-felügyelet

Have you brought eChat radios into the office environment? So that hey can connect in the same way for everyday communication from the offic.

Yes, we have absolutely introduced eChat radios into the office environment. So the office staff are also connected to the radio network and use the radios in their daily communication. This is important because there are tasks where we have to do area clearance, for example, we have to remove cars from an area in order for other partner agencies to be able to clear parks or build or close parking lots. Back-up support for this kind of activity is provided by office staff via the radio system.

  Szombathely közterület-felügyelet

It's been over a year since the eChat radios went live. How much has your work changed since you started using eChat radios?

The introduction of eChat radios has made communication much easier. Previously, communication between colleagues and the duty manager was done by mobile phone, which was extremely slow and difficult to do. However, with the use of radios, communication has become much smoother, faster and more efficient. This is also very important for our event security and our day-to-day operations, as it greatly increases safety and efficiency.

 To what extent do you use the dispatching software?

For us, the dispatching software is called a service management centre. The head of the dispatch centre is responsible for the management and tasking of the people on duty. He uses a map display, so there are two monitors on his desk. One monitor shows only the map interface, showing which unit is closest to the task at hand and who is the fastest available nearby to respond to a particular call.

Have you had any problems with the radios in the last year?

There was a period, about two weeks, where we had quite a few network outages. We got very fast and efficient help then, but we had to spend a lot of time trying to find out what the problem was. Eventually we managed to resolve it. Other than that, we have not experienced any problems. We did have a server down or server replacement for a day, but that was part of the system maintenance that could be planned for. So overall, the system is very stable and we have not had any major problems in the last year apart from that, the system has been very efficient.

Szombathely közterület-felügyelet

 At last year's Savaria Historical Carnival, how did the transceivers work?

 We used the same system at the Savaria Historical Carnival. The security service had the same system, so we could connect with the police and other organisations. These radios were distributed and common communication channels were established. I am confident that this can be done again this year.

The eChat system has evolved a lot in the last year and now there are innovations that you would have liked to have seen in the past. For example, the possibility to record speech on the server. Are you already using the new features?

 Yes, we are. The dispatcher's own recorder is fine, but it is much more practical to have remote access and fully automatic recording. For example, in the case of a complaint or a complaint against an action, it is very important to have a recorded version of the recording available.

Thank you for your replies. Do you have any further comments or questions about the radios or the system?

 When problems arose, we always kept refining and improving them. You always helped me with any questions I had. So we are completely satisfied with the cooperation and the system works very well. We are very pleased with this positive feedback. Looking at the photos and the results of the Public Lands Inspectorate so far, it is very gratifying to see that our communication tools can make a significant contribution to this precise work.

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Labels attached to the content: eChat PoC Munkavégzés