Posted in NGA911 on Jun 17, 2022
911 call centers and emergency response organizations are being asked to do more with less these days. As public safety demands evolve with the rapid advancements in communication technology, 911 personnel must have the tools and infrastructures to protect individuals and communities successfully.
Countless lives are saved annually across the United States thanks to the quick thinking of highly trained emergency response professionals and the 911 systems they use. As such, 911 telecommunicators and citizens in every community deserve access to more effective emergency response provided by modern infrastructures like NG9-1-1 that can keep up with our fast-paced digital world.
In this blog from our trusted NG911 providers and experts at NGA, we'll discuss:
NG911, or Next Generation 911, is a government initiative to upgrade the nation's 911 systems from older copper-wire phone lines and TDM switches to an interconnected IP (Internet Protocol) cloud-based network. Upgrading emergency call center systems to NG911 will allow 911 callers more accessibility to faster emergency response by supporting communication with dispatchers via real-time text messaging, voice messaging, photo and video streaming, and voice calls.
The NG911 infrastructure is designed to improve emergency response times and communication between first responders, agencies, and the public. They also provide many other significant advantages, such as greater 911 accessibility for special-needs callers and improved situational awareness.
While the current 911 system has served us well for many years, it wasn't designed to handle the volume or types of calls it receives today. The system is currently struggling to keep up with advances in communication technology and the growing demand for its services.
This is where NG911 comes in. NG911 systems are designed to be more efficient and effective than the current 911 system, and they have the potential to save more lives because of this.
With the Next Generation 911 system, public safety agencies can:
There are many opportunities for public safety organizations to secure funding for NG911 implementation. However, available funds and grant programs depend on the type of agency and often differ from state to state.
Regarding securing funding for NG911, several federal grants can be helpful. FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management Agency) has several options under FEMA Preparedness Grants that offer non-disaster-related funds for supporting first responders and citizens.
The funds obtained from FEMA Preparedness Grants are to be used for public transportation systems, cybersecurity, and firefighter and law enforcement training. While NG911 is not specifically stated in these FEMA-issued grants, 911.gov is an excellent resource to determine how 911 agencies can integrate Next Generation 911 into the grants they apply for.
Some examples of available FEMA-administered preparedness grants include:
Depending on the state, different 911 or PSAP (Primary Safety Answering Points) grant programs are available. For example, The States of New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia offer NG911 funding through various PSAP grants.
These programs support Next Generation 911 technology initiatives such as Computer-Aided Dispatch and Records Management Systems. In contrast, Florida's E911 State and E911 Rural County grant programs fund current Enhanced 911 systems.
Next Generation 911 is the future of emergency response, so states must now invest in this emergency response infrastructure and technology. State-administered grant programs are essential in helping to fund NG911 initiatives and ensure that 911 professionals have the best possible tools at their disposal.
The LIFT America Act was first introduced to Congress in the spring of 2021. With the LIFT America Act came The NG9-1-1 Infrastructure Bill, which proposed that 911 call centers and other public safety agencies across the United States receive more federal funds to enable NG911 implementation.
The NG911 Infrastructure Bill is said to help develop grant programs designed to provide funds for eligible emergency response organizations to receive assistance for:
911 has come a long way since the first emergency call in 1968. From rotary phones to smartphones, today's communication technology has evolved beyond imagination.
Despite such rapid technological advances, it's surprising that many of the nation's 911 systems cannot keep up. While one of the critical reasons for the slower transition to Next Generation 911 implementation is the lack of funding, NG911 federal funding grants and programs have been designed to combat this issue.
Are you interested in NG911 implementation for your public safety agency?