Many moons ago, legacy 9-1-1 networks fulfilled their purpose to support emergency call takers and first responders when answering and responding to an emergency. As the years, and moons, have gone by, technology has made huge steps forward into the digital age, and it is time for our public safety networks to catch up.
The upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1 promises to improve emergency response times, increase public safety, and provide more information to first responders. As a leading provider of Next Generation 9-1-1 solutions, we want to help PSAPs prepare for a smooth migration to the IP-based Next Generation 9-1-1 Network.
Start by working with your vendor spearheading your upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1 and create a timeline for your migration. This should include the key milestones, the resources you’ll need, and time for training and testing. This doesn’t mean dates won’t change and there won’t be challenges. A timeline will give you and your team a good place to start and a path forward.
Before any large changes are made to any system, it is important to assess your current infrastructure and determine what upgrades are necessary. This might include the full suite of Next Generation Core Services, just call handling, or something in between. Every PSAP will have its unique needs, and your Next Generation 9-1-1 vendor should be able to customize the solutions that are right for you.
Your buy-in of your emergency call takers is one of the most essential parts of the upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1. They are the front line. Consider involving them in the planning process to ensure that their needs are met to do their job successfully during, and after, the transition. Plan to provide ample training and resources to help them get up to speed and feel comfortable with the new network and system.
The upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1 will not only impact your PSAP, emergency responders, and other public safety agencies, but also the community you serve. Provide education to all identifying the benefits of Next Generation 9-1-1 and the new ways people can use to communicate to 9-1-1 in an emergency.
This final step of the plan is to anticipate a rigorous testing and validation period. The safety of your community will rely on the network functioning as expected. Test each part of the system to confirm its resiliency. Then test again.
Preparing for the upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1 is an important task, but with the right partner, planning, and preparation, it can be a smooth and successful process. Call our team if you have any questions as you start planning your migration. By working together, we can ensure that you are set up for the future.