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Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia, Upgrades VESTA 9-1-1 Call Processing System

Date: 2016-06-06
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Martinsville-Henry County 9-1-1 Center recently adopted the VESTA 9-1-1®system, the latest call handling solution from Airbus DS Communications, an entity of Airbus Defense and Space. The Southern Virginia county is now next generation ready and better prepared than ever for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race the county hosts each year.

An Airbus DS Communications customer for more than a decade, the county’s public safety communication officials migrated to the new platform to integrate new IP-based technology and to ease the transition to text-to-9-1-1. The agency has a total of nine call taking positions, seven at the primary center and two at its back-up center. Annually, the county receives approximately 184,000 emergency calls.

“Airbus DS Communications has delivered trusted, reliable and cutting edge technology to our agency throughout the years,” said JR Powell, director of the Martinsville-Henry County 9-1-1 Center in Southern Virginia. “The company has a great team of engineers that are always prompt and available to provide support whenever we may need it. As we continue to evolve our technology to meet next generation standards, we look forward to working with their team to further enhance public safety communications in our community.”

The service provider, Wireless Communications, led the installation and programmed the switches to develop a true geodiverse network for the first time. “During my 21 years here at Martinsville-Henry County, I’ve never experienced an installation as seamless as our VESTA 9-1-1® system upgrade,” added Powell. “The Wireless Communications and Airbus DS Communications teams worked tirelessly to implement the new system. Our calltakers now have the flexibility and efficiency needed to respond to 9-1-1 calls even more swiftly.”

In addition, by choosing to transition to the VESTA 9-1-1® solution, the county was able to achieve a significant cost savings because it was able to repurpose existing hardware and refresh the call system’s software licenses rather than a complete overhaul that would include the purchase of new software licenses.

Located within Martinsville-Henry County is Martinsville Speedway, a track that hosts a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race each spring. The county has approximately 70,000 residents, but the population doubles during race week. Should the 9-1-1 system become overloaded, public safety officials can now ensure service due to system redundancy between the primary and back-up centers, now linked with the VESTA 9-1-1® solution.

“With the new geodiverse system, we now have the ability to easily adjust our staffing at the primary center as well as the backup center to handle the increase in emergency calls that occur during race weekends,” said Tierra Dillard, administrative communications supervisor for Martinsville-Henry County 9-1-1 Center. “Since implementation, the VESTA 9-1-1 system has operated flawlessly during every race weekend. Each call-taking position has been staffed accordingly and calls were easily transitioned between each location without any incidents.”

Martinsville-Henry County is set to launch VESTA® SMS, Airbus DS Communications’ integrated text-to-9-1-1 solution, in the coming months.

For more information on Airbus DS Communications, the home of VESTA®, visit

- Corporate News/ (via Airbus DS Communications, 6/2/16)

PSAP image from Martinsville-Henry County 9-1-1 Center website




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