NG911 Terminology: Learn the Terms and Be Prepared for Next Generation 911

Posted in All, NGA911 on Aug 08, 2022

As Next Generation 911 is implemented across the nation, emergency professionals need to become familiar with NG9-1-1 terminology associated with this advanced technology. The NG911 infrastructure comes with many new standards for public safety, and with those come essential terms, processes, acronyms, and entities to add to your vocabulary. 

In this blog post from our trusted Next Generation 911 providers and experts at NGA, we will define some of the most important terms so that your emergency call center and staff can be better prepared for the transition to Next Generation 911. 

NG911 (Next Generation 911)

NG911, or Next Generation 911, is an updated emergency communications infrastructure that functions on IP (Internet Protocol) and cloud-based systems of interconnected ESInet (Emergency Services IP) networks. The applications and databases that make up the Next Generation 911 system provide many capabilities in addition to replicating traditional 911 features. 

The purpose of NG911 is to provide greater access to emergency services through streamlined communication between the 911 caller, dispatcher, and first responder. And to provide real-time multimedia data sharing for PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) and other 911 organizations. 

Next Generation 911 Core Services

The foundational network that makes processing a 911 call possible is the ESInet. The term Next Generation 911 Core Services are the solutions that operate on the ESInet and not the network itself. 

NG911 Core Services (NGCS) include multimedia data sharing such as:

  • Real-time text messaging

  • Voice messaging 

  • Voice-to-text messaging

  • Photo sharing

  • Video streaming 

NENA (National Emergency Number Association) 

NENA is a federally-recognized organization that focuses solely on 911 policy, technology, education, and operation advancements in the United States. In dedication to helping fulfill its mission for reliable public safety, NENA endorses planning, research, education, and training.


NENA i3 is the first version of the Next Generation 911 system design. NENA i3 is a standard that introduces the idea of an ESInet, which is created as an entirely interconnected IP and cloud-based network shared by all 911 agencies that might be involved in an emergency. 

PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point)

PSAPs, or Public Safety Answering Points, are entities that receive and manage emergency calls. They also acquire event notifications for specific geographic locations and process 911 calls by following detailed operational policies. 

Primary PSAP

A primary Public Safety Answering Point is an agency where emergency calls are directly routed.

Secondary PSAP

A secondary PSAP is an emergency response agency where 911 calls are transferred when a Primary PSAP cannot receive or manage the calls.

ECC (Emergency Call Center)

An ECC, also known as an Emergency Call Center, is an emergency response entity that handles the routing of emergency requests to the correct PSAP or emergency agency. 

ESInet (Emergency Services IP Network)

An ESInet, or Emergency Services IP Network, is an IP-based network set up specifically for emergency services communications, which all public safety offices may use. The IP transport infrastructure provides the foundation for independent application platforms and core services, such as those required for delivering NG911 services.

Because ESInets are interconnected networks, they may be connected at the following levels as well:

  • Local 

  • Regional 

  • Federal

  • National 

  • International 

ESN (Emergency Services Number)

An ESN, or Emergency Services Number, is a three to five-digit number that represents a unique combination of Emergency Response Agencies. Examples of Emergency Response Agencies include fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical services. 

911 Authority

911 Authority is a term that refers to a regional, national, or other governmental entity that has administrative jurisdiction over a specific 911 system. 

CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch)

CAD, otherwise known as Computer-Aided Dispatch, is a term that refers to a computer-based system that aids 911 telecommunicators and dispatchers by automating selected record-keeping and dispatching activities. 


Next Generation 911 is a crucial step forward in emergency response, and we should all be familiar with NG911 terminology. With more civilians using smartphones and smart devices to communicate digitally, all public safety professionals must be on the same page regarding what each term means.

Are you looking to discover more about Next Generation 911?

Connect with our NG911 providers and experts at NGa today