Marengo County 9-1-1 in Alabama has made history as one of the first 9-1-1 centers in the country to go live with an NG9-1-1 call-taking system based on the NENA i3 Next Generation architecture. On Tuesday, December 10, the newly-installed Evolution911™ system provided by Synergem Technologies, Incorporated of Greensboro, North Carolina began delivering 9-1-1 calls to Marengo’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in Linden.
About the Technology
This historic cutover means that Marengo County’s call handling infrastructure embodies the state of the 9-1-1 art, with 9-1-1 calls being converted from a legacy analog format to digital Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) format. The calls are delivered to answering equipment designed in accordance with the Next Generation 9-1-1 System and PSAP Operational Features and Capabilities Requirements, as specified by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).
While legacy 9-1-1 systems do not support multimedia communications commonly used by smartphone users, such as sending text or photos, this new system is capable of handling these features as soon as the telephone carriers and infrastructure is in place. Marengo’s new system transitioned from an analog-based, voice with limited data system, to a fully interoperable, Internet Protocol (IP) based, multimedia, Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) system capable of supporting a variety of communication devices and protocols.
Marengo’s 9-1-1 Director, Kevin McKinney, explained that the opportunity to transition to the Next Generation system was made possible when the 9-1-1 center relocated from its former headquarters in Demopolis to its new facility in Linden. “Our existing equipment was at the end of its service life and in need of an upgrade”, McKinney said. “We wanted something that was an improvement over our existing system, particularly with better wireless call delivery. We also wanted to be able to do more with our phone system. Two of the biggest improvements are better ANI/ALI delivery and call routing. Now we can re-route calls faster that are sent to our facility but should have gone to one of the other eight surrounding counties. Our current system provider, Synergem Technologies, proposed replacement of the old system, and solicited our ongoing input about their new software. In addition, implementing the new system in conjunction with the relocation greatly simplified the complex task of moving to our new facility. The Board of Directors made the decision to move forward with the project, and now we are excited about continuing our partnership with Synergem, which has enabled us to move into the Next Generation of 9-1-1. This will allow us to offer even more services to the community after the rest of the technology infrastructure is in place…”
Synergem’s CEO Nelson Clark reflected on this historic occasion: “Forty-five years ago, 9-1-1 history was made in Haleyville, Winston County, Alabama when the very first 9-1-1 call in the United States was made. On December 10, 9-1-1 history was made again, this time in Linden, when Synergem’s Evolution911™ software began processing Next Generation 9-1-1 calls.”
About Synergem Technologies, Inc.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, Synergem Technologies, Inc., is a leading provider of Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) public safety communication solutions. Synergem’s best-of-breed, end-to-end Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) network services, applications and solutions enable public safety agencies to handle multimedia (voice/text/video) telecommunications and utilize all of the other advanced call processing capabilities made possible by today’s IP-based communications technologies.