NG911: Things PSAPs Should Look For In A Next Generation 911 System

Posted in All, NGA911 on Feb 10, 2022

NG911: Things PSAPs Should Look For In A Next Generation 911 System

Whether you are a first responder or a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), in 2022 most of us are familiar with the term Next Generation 911. NG9-1-1, or NG911, is the next generation of emergency services as this system will include innovative capabilities such as real-time text messaging and geolocation tracking.

Now that the transition to NG911 is underway across the country the essential question now becomes, “What should PSAPs be looking for when choosing the Next Generation 911 system?”

In this blog, our NG911 providers and experts at NGA will discuss:

  • Important NG911 call handling features
  • Trends in emergency communications
  • Things to look for in a Next Generation 911 system

An Efficient And Fully Customizable 911 System

Two of the most significant aspects of choosing an emergency response system are its efficiency and customizability.

An efficient infrastructure will make the transition to the NG911 system more streamlined for dispatchers, and customization will help ensure that the system can handle the needs of your specific PSAP.

For example, your organization might need to use several different user interfaces based on:

  • Individual roles that exist within your PSAP
  • 911 call handling procedures
  • Dispatching first responders and resources protocols

The bottom line: A customizable NG911 system will allow your PSAP personnel to use an interface similar to the one already used, resulting in a smoother transition for all emergency call takers.

A System Specifically Developed For NG911 Call Handling

You might be surprised to learn that not all call handling systems were designed specifically for NG911 calls. Many of the call management systems were simply modified to do so.

When you have a system designed for Next Generation 911 call handling, managing 911 calls becomes much more organized and emergency response more effective.

Taking and monitoring emergency calls becomes more comprehensive because the Next Generation 911 system has been designed explicitly for NG911 call handling.

Some examples of NG911 call handling features include:

  • Automatic call distribution
  • Multiparty conferencing and communication
  • On-screen video displays and silent call monitoring

Instant Access To Technical Support

While Next Generation 911 systems are reliable, having instant access to technical support is a vital aspect to consider. Unexpected delays and slow-moving support can mean the difference between saving lives and tragedy.

Being prepared for the unexpected should include ensuring that your PSAP has access to crucial NG911 technical support instantly.

Below are some key factors to consider:

  • Proactive system monitoring can help prevent rare but possible infrastructure lags and breakdowns by alerting your PSAP of future needed updates and fixing them remotely.

At NGA, we recommend asking your NG911 vendor how they handle their support. As your vendor, our experts are committed to providing quick response times for remote and on-site support services.

  • A direct line of support is also essential to helping avoid a monitoring system that only identifies issues instead of also resolving them.
  • Having NG911 system specialists over general support technicians who work exclusively with your specific system will provide your PSAP with the best support quality. Technical system specialists also have instant access to the team of developers.

Multimedia Sharing And Innovation Trends To Consider

Emergency response organizations need to consider how 911 communications can utilize media and technology trends to improve public safety in today's fast-paced, multimedia-sharing world.

Below are a few considerations:

  • Video and Photo Sharing (Multimedia Capabilities)


Videos and photos can help provide critical information by offering more details about an emergency, natural disaster, or hostage situation at hand. Images and videos also help reduce the reliance on memory alone.

Details shared through pictures and videos can help identify suspects, victims, and other persons of interest. So, it is essential to keep photo and video sharing capabilities in mind when choosing an NG911 system.

  • Cybersecurity

Current 911 systems can result in having the following cybersecurity risks:

  • PSAP infrastructures can be hacked, subjecting systems/software to phishing attacks and ransomware that can slow down or even halt 911 operations altogether.
  • Bots (DDoS & TDoS) can be used to overload PSAP systems with fake emergency calls, therefore flooding the 911 call handling procedures.

Cybersecurity risks to current emergency response systems mean that PSAPs must determine how their NG911 infrastructure will handle cybersecurity threats.

  • “Big Data”


Having easier access to advanced technology, like real-time text messaging and video messaging, has allowed PSAPs to receive more data. Social media platforms have also become valuable information resources for emergency response personnel.

Social media has been able to provide information to PSAPs, including:

  • The extent of an emergency
  • The whereabouts of an emergency
  • Who or what is involved in the situation

This easier access to vital information can result in more 911 systems logging the details and analyzing the data, enabling PSAPs to become more proactive with their emergency response instead of reactive.

The good news is that “big data” is not just limited to social media platforms with advancing technology. It can also extend to upcoming events and weather forecasting.


Choosing an NG911 system isn’t the easiest decision. However, with public safety on the line, selecting a Next Generation 911 infrastructure is vital.

As a trusted NG911 nationwide provider, NGA is here to help PSAPs and their personnel make the most out of their transition to Next Generation 911. Our experts have years of experience partnering with public safety organizations and training telecommunicators in properly using NG911.

Are you ready to get started with Next Generation 911?

Connect with us at NGA to learn more!