As the federal government pushes to advance the nationwide upgrade to NG9-1-1, we continue to work with cities and municipalities on their transition. In the process, we find ourselves educating PSAPs and their staff on the benefits, challenges, and future developments of NG9-1-1. That said, let’s dive into some of the most frequently asked questions we receive so we can give you a leg up on your knowledge as you begin upgrading to NG9-1-1.
NG9-1-1, or Next Generation 9-1-1, represents a transformative upgrade to the existing 911 emergency communication systems. Unlike traditional systems that rely mainly on voice calls, NG9-1-1 embraces a diverse range of communication methods including texts, images, videos, and data from connected devices. This enables faster and more informed responses to emergencies.
Enhanced Location Accuracy: NG9-1-1 leverages advanced technologies to provide precise caller location information, even in cases where callers are unable to provide accurate details.
Data Integration: The ability to receive texts, images, and videos enables callers to convey critical information quickly, assisting first responders with better context.
Interconnected Networks: NG9-1-1 facilitates seamless communication and data sharing among different emergency response agencies including other PSAPs, the fire department, and emergency medical services resulting in a more coordinated and efficient response.
Resilience and Redundancy: NG9-1-1 systems are designed with robust failover mechanisms to ensure reliability and availability of emergency services. Measures are implemented to ensure that the NG9-1-1 system remains operational and accessible even in the face of various challenges, disruptions, or failures.
Accessibility and Inclusivity: NG9-1-1 accommodates diverse communication needs, enabling individuals with disabilities to reach out effectively. This includes real-time text where the emergency call operator is able to receive text messages as they are being written.
By providing accurate location data and the ability to share various types of information, NG9-1-1 empowers dispatchers with a clearer picture of the situation. This leads to quicker decision-making and more efficient deployment of resources, ultimately reducing response times.
Upgrading to NG9-1-1 decreases the amount of time it takes for emergency responders to get to the scene. This is mainly because of enhanced location accuracy. In addition, first responders have more information to assess prior to getting to the scene. They do this through photos and videos, so when they arrive, they can take the appropriate action faster.
The nationwide rollout of NG9-1-1 is a gradual process. It involves collaboration between various stakeholders, including the government, states, cities, emergency service providers and technology vendors. Different regions may have different timelines for implementation, but the goal is to make upgrading to NG9-1-1 accessible to everyone.
Absolutely. NG9-1-1 systems are designed with robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive data. Robust cybersecurity means safeguarding sensitive information and preventing unauthorized access, data breaches, and malicious activities. It’s imperative to protect the confidentiality of the data exchanged during emergencies, which is why there is strict access at every PSAP.
One of the main hurdles we face upgrading to NG9-1-1 is funding and budget. Everyone agrees there are significant benefits to the safety of our nation’s communities. But, financial restraints continue to slow the migration process. Technology upgrade, equipment replacement, and training come at a cost. Therefore, local and state agencies have their budgets allocated to existing initiatives. We are hopeful the federal government’s backing of the nationwide migration will help support communities around the country.
Another challenge we face is the transition from legacy 9-1-1 to NG9-1-1. It is important to have an NG9-1-1 vendor
A large part of the future of NG9-1-1 will be educating the public about how to use next generation 9-1-1. Specifically, its capabilities and raising awareness about the transition from traditional 911 systems. In addition, predictive analytics, indoor positioning, and 3D mapping are features of next generation 9-1-1 that we may see more.
We’re excited to see so many PSAPs around the country dedicated to embracing the future of emergency communication and upgrading to NG9-1-1. As NG9-1-1 continues to reshape the emergency response landscape, we’re committed to providing you with the latest information, updates, and solutions that contribute to safer communities and more efficient emergency responses.
Contact our team of next generation 9-1-1 experts if you have more questions or want to discuss your upgrade to NG9-1-1.