Town of Oyster Bay
The Town of Oyster Bay, part of the New York metropolitan area, is the only town in Nassau County that extends from the North Shore to the South Shore of Long Island. The area was also home to Theodore Roosevelt, who spent summers at his residence, Sagamore Hill, in the Village of Cove Neck, New York.
In recent years, the township has proactively installed Voice over IP emergency phones throughout the town’s recreational areas, which include over 2000 acres of parks, beaches, golf courses, marinas, garages, community centers, train stations, municipal buildings and storage yards.
The Town Supervisor, John Venditto, has made safety and security a priority in the Town of Oyster Bay. It was no surprise that the township put out a mandate requiring that all new emergency phones with network capabilities comply with Voice over IP standards.
“Our recreational facilities are very busy with thousands of people using them daily,” explained Justin McCaffrey, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety for the Town of Oyster Bay. “We feel that the call boxes are an efficient, quick way to summon assistance. We also feel the call boxes provide a reassuring comfort level and act as a deterrent to crime”.
The town had been using Talkaphone analog emergency phones throughout the city prior to going to IP. The Department of Public Safety staff found the units easy to use and operate. They chose Talkaphone because of the robustness and durability of the equipment.
When the mandate came and the infrastructure was ready to support the Voice over IP technology, it was time to upgrade the emergency communications equipment. As an added benefit, the city was now able to use Talkaphone’s mass notification solution with Voice over IP phones.
We are very happy with the system. It has proven to be reliable, vandal-resistant and it projects a positive image of safety and security at our facilities.
Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety
Town of Oyster Bay
Emergency communications system put to a test by Hurricane Irene
Not long after LPC Inc. finished the installation at the parking facility and the town’s recreational areas, the emergency communications system was tested against the elements. Hurricane Irene ravaged the entire East Coast in September of 2011; it brought loss and massive destruction along the way. It was estimated that five million homes were in the dark without the certainty of when electric power would be restored.
When the hurricane came, the tides were so great that they lifted the entire deck two feet. We didn’t think any emergency communications equipment would survive. To our surprise, all Talkaphone’s phones were still functioning even after being completely submerged into water and beaten hard by the debris and wind!
President Barack Obama issued a state of emergency declaration for many parts of the battered coast, freeing federal disaster funds and tasking the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to coordinate the disaster relief efforts.
During challenging times like this, emergency communication is critical. The survivability of equipment can be the difference between life and death. Hurricane Irene put Talkaphone’s emergency communications equipment to a harsh test.
Many emergency phone towers and wall mounts are located on the Town of Oyster Bay’s south shore beaches, which were affected the most during the hurricane. In the aftermath, LPC was quick to respond to the maintenance call on the emergency phone system. The outcome of the service call was not as grim as expected.
“When the hurricane came, the tides were so great that they lifted the entire deck two feet,” said William Eggers of LPC. “We didn’t think any emergency communications equipment would survive. To our surprise, all Talkaphone’s phones were still functioning even after being completely submerged into water and beaten hard by the debris and wind!”
All south shore beaches and most north shore beaches remained closed for clean up operations and until the power could be completely restored. The Oyster Bay community worked hard to bring the town back from Irene’s devastation.
Some of the VOIP-500 emergency phones that took the most damage, due to their proximity to the ocean, were returned to the Talkaphone factory for examination. None of the emergency phones, towers, or wall mounts were affected by the hurricane, even as the water surge brought massive amounts of sand and debris, destroying weaker structures along the way. An important emergency lifeline was preserved and stood strong in the face of a hurricane.
LPC Inc. was commissioned to design a VoIP emergency phone solution for the town. They were also tasked with integrating Talkaphone’s WEBS Contact® mass notification platform. With over two years of reliable service, LPC has developed a strong partnership with the Town of Oyster Bay. LPC proposed Talkaphone’s VOIP-500 series emergency phones as they seamlessly operate over a shared digital infrastructure with other IP technologies.
Talkaphone’s WEBS Contact mass notification platform and VoIP emergency phones were configured to be part of a unified mass notification system. The WEBS Contact server, as well as the phone system and gateways, all reside at the Department of Public Works, which is located miles away from the site and is connected through a fiber network.
Extensive planning and staged testing of the entire system by LPC’s technicians gave the Town of Oyster Bay IT department peace of mind. When the day came to flip the network switch to the ‘ON’ position, everything came online as anticipated.
The Town of Oyster Bay continues to add Talkaphone units throughout the area. “We are very happy with the system,” commented Justin McCaffrey. “It has proven to be reliable, vandal-resistant and it projects a positive image of safety and security at our facilities”.
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