Did you know that around 240 million emergency calls are made to 911 telecommunications organizations in America each year? More U.S. states are implementing NG9-1-1 systems to help PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) manage emergency calls in their communities with technology that can process and interpret 911 caller phone numbers and location information.
With the NG911 (Next Generation 911) initiative underway, states and local governments are deploying the NG911 systems according to their own form of governance across the nation. As technology evolves rapidly in our digital world, state and local governments recognize the critical importance of updated 911 infrastructures and are preparing their emergency response agencies for Next Generation 911 implementation.
In this blog, our trusted providers of NG911 at NGA will discuss:
What NG911 is
How Next Generation 911 works
The NG911 nationwide initiative
The fundamental blocks of NG911 implementation
Next Generation 911 implementation on the state and federal levels
NG911 stands for Next Generation 911. NG911 is a 911 telecommunications infrastructure consisting of innovative technology and software designed to help PSAPs and other public safety organizations manage 911 calls and deploy faster, more accurate emergency response services.
While the Next Generation 911 infrastructure is used for various purposes, its primary role is to allow dispatchers to receive potentially life-saving information from citizens in need regarding an emergency through smart devices and multimedia sharing.
The multimedia platforms supported by NG911 technology include:
Live video streaming
The Next Generation 911 system can support social media messaging and other capabilities.
When a citizen in need contacts 911 via an emergency phone call, an alert, or a multimedia message, the message is processed and routed through the service provider and the service provider delivers the 911 call to the IP and cloud-based NG911 network.
Then, the incoming 911 call is processed by the service provider to analyze the critical information, such as the phone number, type of call, call location, and more. The service provider routes the call to the nearest PSAP based on the emergency caller's location.
The 911 call is routed to the emergency telecommunicator at the appropriate PSAP, who will then communicate with the caller to identify which 911 services and resources are needed. The caller and emergency information are loaded into a computer-aided dispatch system for alerting the correct first responders.
With the evolution of emergency calling extending beyond dialing 9-1-1, most jurisdictions across the country have recognized that traditional 911 systems can no longer support the present and future needs of public safety.
Additionally, the need for seamless inter-communication across states and public safety organizations requires a 911 system that is more flexible and adaptable, with greater data handling capabilities.
With the NG911 infrastructure, more accurate call handling and reliable inter and outer communication is possible. For this reason and many others, local and state governments have been working to implement Next Generation 911 in their PSAPs through the NG911 initiative and following NENA NG911 standards.
The primary goal of the NG911 initiative is for PSAPs and all emergency response agencies across the nation to move away from outdated 911 systems and replace them with Next Generation 911.
Implementing Next Generation 911 is a task and requires various types of systems, protocols, and processes to complete.
The fundamental building blocks for Next Generation 911 implementation include:
ESInet: ESInet stands for Emergency Services IP Network. ESInets are networks that use broadband technology to handle large amounts of data using IP standards. ESInets can also support various types of communications that extend beyond traditional 911 services.
NENA Standards: the IP standards developed by NENA (National Emergency Number Association) provides the functionality of the NG911 system. These NENA standards include software applications, service-oriented architecture, and information to control and manage IP-based processes.
Cybersecurity: The NG911 infrastructure was designed with air-tight security in mind. Next Generation 911 software and protocols include extensive cybersecurity measures.
Data Management and Databases: The NG911 GIS (Geographic Information System) data model lists the requirements, formats, and related information that must be used to be NENA compliant with Next Generation 911 Core Services.
Human-Touch Process: Next Generation 911 is a system that involves extensive procedures and infrastructure operations run by specific personnel that monitor and control NG911 Core Services to ensure effectiveness.
With NG911, PSAPs will also be able to route 911 calls if their organization is overloaded or damaged. By using IP and cloud-based networks, the NG911 system will provide dispatchers with the 911 caller’s correct information in real-time.
Currently, local and state governments are actively working to deploy and implement NG911 systems across state lines. The Next Generation 911 infrastructure will allow emergency response telecommunicators to receive valuable information in addition to voice calls and multimedia messages.
State Actions: Because operating 911 is the state and local government’s responsibility, these jurisdictions have been left to oversee the implementation of NG911 in their state and local communities. Some states are choosing to deploy the Next Generation 911 system components in increments while other states are putting together task forces to create a plan for full NG911 implementation.
Federal Actions: Recent endeavors related to Next Generation 911 implementation on the federal level include the establishment of the FirstNet (First Responder Network Authority). FirstNet is an independent authority housed within the United States Department of Commerce. FirstNet is required to create a nationwide safety network for 911 first responders using the same IP-based model used for the NG911 system.
The more states and local governments that implement Next Generation 911 into their emergency response telecommunication centers, the more responders will have the technology needed to deploy better 911 solutions and ultimately save more lives.
States that have already implemented NG911 components into their 911 operations have become the models for a successful experience when deploying Next Generation 911.
Are you looking to know about Next Generation 911 implementation for your state or local community?