As PSAPs around the country continue to make the upgrade to NG9-1-1, you may be wondering where to start. How can you start the process and prepare your PSAP for the nationwide upgrade to NG9-1-1? What can your PSAP do now to be ready to receive federal funding when available?

The answer to these questions is to complete a comprehensive assessment of the current state of your PSAP. This is an internal discovery of your network infrastructure, hardware and software, training and education programs, and more. Read through this blog on what a PSAP assessment could look like for you and your team.

Network Infrastructure to Upgrade to NG9-1-1:

A robust network infrastructure is the backbone of NG9-1-1. Before you make the upgrade to NG9-1-1 you’ll need to evaluate your existing network. The three major areas to assess are bandwidth requirements, network security measures, and compatibility with NG9-1-1 i3 standards. Given NG9-1-1 is a network based emergency services solution, you’ll need to see if your current network infrastructure can support the increased bandwidth. Additionally, given the sensitive nature of the information passing through the network, assess existing security measures and if they’ll be compatible with the new system. Speaking of compatibility, review the NENA i3 standards required for the upgrade to NG9-1-1, and see which your PSAP already meets and what will need to be fulfilled in the upgrade process.

Hardware and Software:


Hardware and software are key components of a PSAPs efficiency and one of the most important pieces of the assessment process. Legacy networks do not have the functionality to handle muti-media data and complex call routing of NG9-1-1. What hardwares and softwares will need to be updated? Make a list of what you’re currently using so you can share with your Next Generation 9-1-1 vendor. In some instances you may be able to upgrade certain systems that align with the NG9-1-1 requirements and services prior to the upgrade. A system upgrade would be a big step toward modernizing your emergency response process.

Staffing and Skill Set Levels:

It’s important to consider staffing when making the upgrade to NG9-1-1. Your staff and their skill set will have a direct impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of your new system. What are the skillsets of your current staff? Can your current staff handle the complexities of a Next Generation 9-1-1 system, or might you need to consider specialized staff and additional training? Factors to consider are call volume, geographic coverage, and changes in workflow with new technology. Once you do this, you can identify gaps in staff and their skills, see if any current staff can transition into new roles, and start the processes of filling in the gaps with new positions as you need. By aligning staffing levels and skill sets with the requirements of NG9-1-1, PSAPs can ensure optimal performance and responsiveness in emergency situations.

Training and Education:

The technology upgrade alone to Next Generation 9-1-1 cannot guarantee a more effective emergency response. That said, the emergency services industry has done an excellent job prioritizing training and education, and that will need to continue as the nation makes the upgrade to NG9-1-1. You will need to provide PSAP staff with the tools and training they need to succeed in their crucial role as the first line of defense. Assess the training needs not only for emergency call takers but also for dispatchers and IT personnel. Things they’ll need training and education for include the intricacies of handling multimedia data, utilizing new communication channels, and navigating advanced call routing systems. Investing in continuous education ensures that your staff remains proficient in their role and adapt to future advancements in technology.

Mental Health Programs:therapist-writing-on-notebook-during-session-with-psap-worker-to-show-mental-health-support-when-working-in-next-generation-9-1-1-industry

In recent years, mental health for emergency service professionals has come to the forefront of the industry’s attention. Incredible action has been taken at many PSAPs around the country including offering counseling services, red light therapy relaxation rooms, peer support programs, and stress management workshops. Recognizing the toll that handling emergencies can take on the mental and emotional well-being of PSAP staff is essential. It’s imperative we continue to prioritize mental health support initiatives. Assess what your PSAP is doing now in regard to mental health, and how can you level up? With an increase in mental health support to your staff, you will be promoting longevity and effectiveness in their emergency response roles. NENA also has this resource page which is a wealth of information for your PSAP.

Synergem Can Help You Assess Your PSAP For The Upgrade To NG9-1-1

The nationwide upgrade to NG9-1-1 represents a significant leap forward in emergency response capabilities. However, this transition requires careful planning, assessment, and preparation. Conducting a comprehensive assessment of your PSAP’s network infrastructure, hardware and software, staffing and skill set, training and education, and mental health programs is the first step towards a successful transition. By identifying and addressing any gaps now, you can ensure a seamless upgrade to NG9-1-1 systems and functionalities in the future. Contact our expert Next Generation 9-1-1 team at Synergem so we can get you started on your upgrade.