According to U.S. texting statistics, over six billion text messages are sent every day. That doesn’t surprise us. Today’s consumer demands connectivity and speed, and in our industry, many jurisdictions and PSAPs have adapted to that need with an add-on Text-to-9-1-1 service. The benefits are life saving, but how efficient is the system?
Text-to-9-1-1 allows someone experiencing an emergency, or a bystander of an incident, to communicate with PSAPs and call takers via text. Messages can include text and multimedia such as photos, voice and video. This means life saving information gets to public safety agencies prior to their arrival to the crime scene. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
As an add-on service, text messages are an overlay capability delivered through a separate user interface. This requires a 9-1-1 telecommunicator to have two dashboards open on their computer at once. One for incoming calls and another for text messages. In an emergency, it is critical that 9-1-1 telecommunicators work as quickly and efficiently as possible, and working between systems may cause unnecessary delays.
Let’s consider a situation where calling 9-1-1 could be dangerous, where speaking could reveal the positions of those in danger. In this scenario, a text-to-9-1-1 gets information to a PSAP quickly and safely, and first responders to the crime scene faster.
Someone who is speech or hearing impaired is in an emergency. The ability to text 9-1-1 without an additional service, and at the same convenience as everyone else, would be game changing.
If your PSAP is working with an add-on text-to-9-1-1 service, you’re carrying an extra subscription and cost. To create more efficiency in your PSAP and long term cost savings, follow jurisdictions and PSAPs around the country making the migration from legacy networks to next generation 9-1-1.
Texting is a fundamental component of next generation 9-1-1. With NG9-1-1 solutions, texting is routed to telecommunicators the same way as call, and it is triaged through the same software telecommunicators are already using (as long as it’s i3-compatible).
Modern technology is imperative for telecommunicators and first responders to do their job protecting our communities. Synergem is on the front line supporting public safety professionals. If you’re interested in learning more about text-to-9-1-1 and NG9-1-1 solutions, contact us so we can help answer your questions.
For over 25 years, Synergem Technologies has pioneered the advancement of technology in the 9-1-1 industry. First to market with an i3 Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet), our mission is to provide an easy, seamless, and efficient process for communities to upgrade their legacy systems to the NENA-i3 standard.