911 vehicleSynergem has successfully launched its EvolutionNETTMESInet network-of-networks and its Evolution911™ Next Generation 9-1-1 call taking solution in Spink County, South Dakota. The new systems are now delivering 9-1-1 calls to the Spink County Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in Redfield.

The State of South Dakota has acknowledged it needs to “replace its 9-1-1 system due to end-of-life system constraints … Built on legacy technology, the current environment is unable to keep pace with the technology to place a 9-1-1 call. Today, calls for help could be in the form of text, video, or other media.” The State, on behalf of the State 9-1-1 Coordination Board, is addressing this critical need by working to implement a National Emergency Number Association (NENA) i3-compliant Next Generation 9-1-1 network and emergency call answering system, interconnecting Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) across the State.

Spink County joins a small number of forward-thinking PSAPs nationwide, ushering in this 21st Century technology for 9-1-1 communications. “We’re looking forward to being able to offer the community advanced 9-1-1 technology.It’s a bold and positive step by the State to bring the latest Next Gen 9-1-1 technology to the state of South Dakota. I’m also looking forward to bringing text-to-9-1-1 to the community,” said Spink County Sheriff Kevin Schurch.

People in need of help communicate over various kinds of wired and wireless networks, using a variety of devices including smartphones, tablets, and soft or digital computer-based telephones. In emergency situations, texting 9-1-1 may be necessary if an individual is unable to talk, it is unsafe to talk, or when speaking to and hearing the 9-1-1 telecommunicator is otherwise not possible.

Next Generation 9-1-1 technology not only accommodates various networks, devices, and texting, it also allows First Responders access to data such as photos, video, documents, and data from other systems. This additional information can be life-saving, enabling First Responders quick access to valuable information as they react to emergency situations. Spink County is ready for this capability as soon as the telephone carriers deliver it.

The Spink PSAP is currently utilizing only a fraction of the capabilities of EvolutionNET™ ESInet, but in the coming weeks it will move toward taking full advantage of the new technology. Spink County is taking a planned approach to communicating with residents about the advanced technology and will inform the community as new ways to interact with 9-1-1 services become operational.