In emergency situations, every second counts. Which is why there is a nationwide push to upgrade to next generation 9-1-1 technology. It has real-time data integration, multimedia data handling, high security and resilience, and many other benefits which can be reviewed in our PSAP Resources. All these solutions are in place to not only have quicker response times for emergency situations, but also to help improve situational awareness for both first responders and public safety answering points (PSAPs). Below we dive into how Next Generation 9-1-1 does just that.

What is Situational Awareness and its Importance


According to the American Psychological Association, situational awareness is defined as “conscious knowledge of the immediate environment and the events that are occurring in it”. In other words,

seeing what is happening around you and being able to make sense of it so you can make the best choice on next steps.

For first responders, this is important as they assess an emergency situation. They need to be able to make quick, life-saving decisions. Moreso, Next Generation 9-1-1 technology allows first responders and PSAPs to work together more efficiently by coordinating resources and sharing important information. Additionally, it allows PSAPs and first responders to discuss potential hazards, dangerous conditions, structural concerns, and help ensure the responder’s safety.

The Role of Next Generation 9-1-1 Technology for Situational Awareness

In general, the role of Next Generation 9-1-1 technology is to upgrade existing legacy networks. This way they are able to better support emergency situations. This more advanced technology allows PSAPs to have access to tools that provide deeper insights. Therefore, giving them more nuanced control over emergency response situations. More specifically, Next Generation 9-1-1 technology improves situational awareness for PSAPs in a few different ways:

  1. next-generation-9-1-1-call-taker-for-emergency-response-sitting-at-desk-with-headset-on-and-serious-expression-on-her-faceReal-Time Data Integration
    1. While PSAPs still support traditional voice calls, they now can also respond to texts, video feeds, and receive data from other IoT devices.This gives call-takers a comprehensive picture of the situation as it occurs in real time. This can mean the difference between sending standard response teams or specialized resources for a particular situation.
  2. Advanced Location Tracking
    1. Thanks to GPS and wi-fi triangulation, Next Generation 9-1-1 technology is able to provide PSAPs with near-exact location information. This, in turn, not only speeds up response time but also ensures that resources are allocated efficiently.
  3. Improved Communication Capabilities
    1. Effective communication is the backbone of emergency response. Next generation technology enhances communication by providing seamless, multi-channel communication between PSAPs, first responders and the public. As mentioned above, it can even share real-time video or images providing first-hand situational awareness.
  4. Predictive Analytics and AI
    1. While still in the very early stages of adaptation, machine learning and AI are transforming how emergencies are managed. Rather than provide a reactive response, AI technology can analyze historical data and current trends to help anticipate future incidents before they happen. You can read more about AI and next gen technology in our recent blog. In the future, we may see more involvement with these tools in Next Generation 9-1-1 technology. But, at this time, most of the support is still dependent upon PSAPs.

Supporting PSAPs for the Challenges Ahead

The adoption of Next Generation 9-1-1 technology represents a significant leap forward in the capabilities of PSAPs. By enhancing situational awareness, these advanced tools not only improve the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency response but also save lives. As we continue to innovate and evolve, the goal remains clear: to provide emergency services with the best possible tools to meet the demands of the modern world.