Ambos touch base with new mobile network

The Ambulance Service of NSW will upgrade to a mobile data radio network to reduce the time it takes for ambulances to receive messages from headquarters.

Due within 12 months, the digital, packet-based Ericsson Mobitex network will guarantee control centre messages are shown in ambulances in less than 10 seconds.

The plan follows a five-year, $20 million contract granted to Queensland based Technisyst Computing.

The service currently shares the NSW Government radio network with other public services, which often leads to message delays, said Technisyst CEO Bill Delaney.

"We will implement an 8Kbps wireless network. And while that sounds slow, it's fast over the air, and only requires a little bit of the radio spectrum."

The same system is currently used by the QLD Ambulance service.

Over 300 NSW ambulances will be fitted with touchscreens that display data and allow ambulance crew to enter set responses.

"Once this network is running, we will know to within 500 metres where the ambulances are and their status, capabilities etc," said Delaney.

"When a 000 call generates a location, the [control centre] dispatcher looks at the screen and decides which ambulance is nearest, and sends the job details to that terminal."

The details are then displayed on a touchscreen inside the ambulance, located on the dashboard.

"The crew then confirms they'll attend, and our system monitors the time elapsed," said Delaney.

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