How to Help The Very First Responders Adapt to NG911

Posted on Oct 20, 2021

Telecommunicators and dispatchers are the very first responders to answer the call when an emergency strikes. The work is often equally stressful, demanding, and rewarding.

Additionally, public safety organizations and call centers are experiencing major shifts in their telecommunications systems, technology, and protocols with the implementation of NG911 nationwide.

As telecommunicators learn to adjust to Next Generation 911, public safety agencies can help them adapt with less mental strain and stress.

In this blog, our NG9-1-1 experts at NGA 911 will explore:

  • How Next Generation 911 affects the very first responders
  • What telecommunicators and dispatchers need during this time of change
  • Ways to help first responders adjust successfully to NG911

NG911 & First Responders: Building The Connection

To say that it's not easy being a 911 professional is an understatement. Telecommunicators are often hearing people's worst days or moments and can only offer their support during stressful situations. For dispatchers working with outdated 911 systems, there aren't many opportunities for closure.

With the Next Generation 911 system in place, emergency personnel will finally have the innovative and reliable technologies they need to receive real-time:

  • Videos
  • Text Messages
  • Photos

Receiving vital information when responding to an emergency as it’s happening can provide greater satisfaction for emergency personnel. It can also offer significant benefits for public safety professionals and the general public alike.

For telecommunicators and dispatchers: Real-time videos, text messaging and photos, made possible by NG9-1-1 allows first responders to serve the public with greater efficiency.

For the general public:Connecting with 9-1-1 almost immediately gives individuals access to emergency response. People can also contact 911 even when calling is not an option, and receive life-saving resources when and where they need them.

Ways to Help Emergency Personnel Adjust to NG911

The NG9-1-1 system is designed to make the jobs of 911 professionals easier and more effective. However, in addition to the common stresses of dispatchers and telecommunicators, emergency personnel might have other concerns regarding the implementation of Next Generation 911.

Such as:

  • Changes that NG911 can bring
  • How new systems work during natural disasters, protests, and pandemics
  • If adapting efforts to new technology will be successful

With these concerns in mind, NGA 911 has put together effective ways public safety agencies can help telecommunicators adjust to Next Generation 911.

First Consider How NG9-1-1 Can Help

One of the most difficult aspects for 911 telecommunicators is the feeling of helplessness as they are unable to physically reach the scene and deal with inaccurate information. With NG911, however, these concerns will likely be a thing of the past.

Receiving images, videos, and text messages in real-time gives 911 professionals the essential information they can't get otherwise. As the dispatcher, this can boost your sense of empowerment in difficult situations.

Expect A Learning Curve

As PSAPs and ECCs upgrade to the Next Generation 911 system, first responders will need training as they learn how to transition from old technology to new. Worrying about this switch can cause some anxiety and intimidation.

Just remember, with anything new, there is a learning curve! The reality is that the benefits of NG9-1-1 significantly outweigh the time it takes to adjust to the system and its protocols.

These include:

  • Real-time text (RTT) for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to have easier ways to reach 911
  • Voice messaging for those with vision impairments to still communicate during an emergency
  • Geolocation technology for dispatchers to identify the exact location of a 911 caller

Remember How Much They Already Know

Emergency telecommunicators are among the most resourceful individuals in the world. They've dedicated their livelihood to finding ways to help people when they need it the most. Public safety agencies have to evaluate information very quickly, figure out what they're dealing with, and deploy essential resources every day.

Since traditional systems need to co-exist with NG911's technologies for a time, the experience and skill of telecommunicators prove invaluable during this adjustment period. This means that these very first responders are an irreplaceable part of adapting to the future of 911.

Encourage Next Generation 911 Collaboration

Since telecommunicators are the ones taking and responding to 9-1-1 calls every day, they should be involved in Next Generation 911s:

  • Planning
  • Development
  • Deployment

Encouraging PSAP personnel to collaborate on the implementation of NG911 offers these very first responders with an even more rewarding experience.

Conclusion

With NG911, telecommunicators can expect to receive more information than ever before. Since public safety agencies are adapting their infrastructure and protocols for Next Generation 911, they should also provide ways to support the very first responders.

You can learn more by connecting with our experts at NGA 911.