Priority Ambulance achieves low-latency data delivery to dispatch ambulances quickly with Flexential geo-diverse data centers
Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, Priority Ambulance offers 9-1-1 and interfacility ambulance services to more than 600,000 patients yearly. Focused on building trust with its communities, medical facility partners, patients and employees, the company operates according to its S.A.F.E. core values: Safe. Accountable. Friendly. Efficient. To deliver exceptional clinical care to people in their time of need, Priority Ambulance relies on its IT strategy to facilitate rapid responses that create safer environments for its patients and partners.
Low-latency, reliable deployment needed to speed dispatch of EMS services
As one of the fastest-growing private ambulance companies in the U.S., Priority Ambulance requires unwavering uptime and low-latency data delivery to provide the high level of care its patients and healthcare partners expect. With its phone systems and 9-1-1 interface reliant on its IT infrastructure, downtime can impact its ability to receive and quickly respond to urgent calls.
To improve its latency model, the company began vetting Phoenix-area colocation providers, seeking a partner with a national presence to support its growth-by-acquisition strategy.
FlexAnywhere™ Platform enables hybrid IT deployment to deploy emergency responses rapidly
After a thorough review of Phoenix data centers—and multiple reference calls to Flexential customers in the EMS industry—Priority Ambulance partnered with Flexential, employing its Phoenix - Deer Valley data center and creating a network hub within the facility.
The medical transport company used this initial deployment to test the waters with Flexential. Impressed with its experience, the company quickly expanded the relationship, leveraging the FlexAnywhere™ Platform—a highly connected and scalable platform with a full suite of colocation, interconnection, cloud, data protection, and managed and professional services—to integrate Flexential Nashville - Franklin facility into its IT strategy.
To ensure the uptime of this critical infrastructure, Flexential offers a redundant architecture with 2N UPS redundancy and multiple, diverse connections from leading national providers, backing it with a 100% uptime SLA on power, cooling, network and bandwidth.
Priority Ambulance utilized the Flexential FlexAnywhere™ Solution blueprint for “Improved Application Performance and Reliability” to achieve the availability and resilience its 24x7 emergency service operation requires. FlexAnywhere™ Solution blueprints are designed to address common business challenges and deliver business-enabling solutions that fast-track IT transformations and drive competitive advantages. Applying this blueprint, Priority Ambulance migrated its Florida data center to the Nashville - Franklin site, entrusting Flexential to support its critical phone lines, 9-1-1 interface and more than 100 SD-WAN devices across the country that demand seamless communication with the data center to provide emergency services to various communities.
“Working with the Flexential team was exceptional,” said Todd Endicott, manager of IT implementations at Priority Ambulance. “There was a lot of above-and-beyond effort during the move. A couple of people even sacrificed vacation and personal time to make sure we met our deadlines. It really encouraged us with the relationship going forward.”
During the planning stage for this migration, Priority Ambulance was concerned that supply chain challenges would impact its ability to procure servers in time. Flexential recommended a cloud deployment to mitigate this potential disruption. While the company was able to secure the servers on time, it also deployed 36 virtual machines (VM) in the Flexential multi-tenant cloud, which offers five 9’s of availability, to enable a backup-as-a-service (BaaS) solution.
Priority Ambulance also established a presence in the Flexential Louisville facility, relocating 40-50 VMs from Azure to build a disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solution that supports its resiliency during an outage. Priority Ambulance engaged Flexential Professional Services (FPS) to help architect, design and implement its DRaaS and cloud strategies.
To meet regulatory obligations, especially across its nine independent SQL environments that run regional dispatches, Priority Ambulance also utilizes Wasabi archive storage through Flexential, replacing its previous hyperscale cloud storage solution.
To connect its three data centers, cloud environments and long-term storage deployment, Priority Ambulance leverages Flexential Interconnection. Using Flexential private, direct Data Center Interconnections (DCI), Priority Ambulance bypasses the Internet to achieve reliable, high-speed connections that allow the company to accept calls, record data and dispatch aid more rapidly.
Local deployments expedite medical intervention
The Flexential FlexAnywhere™ Platform and skilled team have enabled Priority Ambulance’s hybrid IT journey, transitioning the company to a high-performing multi-faceted solution that allows it to respond to emergency calls without delays. This resilience is strengthened by a DRaaS strategy with less than 10ms of latency to ensure its operations can continue in the face of any disruption. Additionally, its BaaS solution protects sensitive patient data and ensures the company can recover from a cyberattack.
The Flexential geo-diverse data center footprint also helped Priority Ambulance bring its applications and data several hundred miles closer to its user base to dramatically improve roundtrip delivery speeds from 70 milliseconds (ms) to 11 to 12ms. This low-latency delivery helps the company receive data and deploy potentially life-saving care more quickly.
“Flexential has been an excellent resource for us. We've been very impressed with the service and expertise its team offers,” said Endicott. “Flexential is always looking out for us—letting me know when we are nearing capacity at a data center, ensuring they understand our evolving needs and providing insight into potential solutions we had not considered. I can't say enough about our experience.”
We truly are in a business where seconds matter. Any delay in receiving data can impact our ability to get medical assistance to someone in need. Flexential operates reliable data centers across the country that allow us to position our infrastructure close to our customers so we can activate medical teams quickly.