Posted in NGA911 on May 04, 2022
Now more than ever, the need for faster, more accurate emergency response is essential in a world of evolving technology and increasing cybersecurity risks. With more NG9-1-1 systems being implemented throughout the country, how PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) receive alerts from alarm systems and respond to emergency events and 911 calls will improve drastically.
With NG911 (Next Generation 911), it is expected that the future amount of sensitive data handled by PSAPs will be more streamlined due to the NG911 infrastructure running on secure and updated IP (Internet Protocol) and cloud-based networks.
In this blog from our Next Generation 911 providers and experts at NGA, we’ll discuss significant technical impacts PSAPs need to overcome to provide effective emergency response services in an NG911 environment.
With the transition to Next Generation 911 from outdated systems, technical interface impacts are inevitable. One primary concern regarding change-overs in emergency response interfaces includes how data streaming will flow into the emergency call centers and how it will enable dispatchers to interact with that data.
While 911 interfaces are vital for public safety, they also provide the means to allow PSAPs and other call centers to communicate with each other. Because of the high demand for streamlined 911 interfaces, there is a saturated marketplace that includes emergency telecommunications vendors that have served the public safety industry for years and others that work with third-party companies.
Because of the importance of emergency system interfaces, PSAPs need to consider what NG911 vendors and types of interfaces are best for their personnel and agency. Some interfaces will include technology that can directly connect the public safety answering point to data-generating systems, such as their city’s bank alarms and video surveillance systems.
Another technical impact concern is how 911 call centers will manage the influx of data into their infrastructure. No one person can juggle the amount of information generated when an unforeseen incident occurs, whether it's a terrorist threat, multi-car pileup, or bank robbery. Therefore, PSAPs will need to deploy one or several data-analytics solutions to process the information and then flag the data so that information is transmitted to the correct dispatcher.
With NG911, such data-analytics solutions will be integrated, allowing local emergency response services to reach their full potential. Next Generation 911 data-analytics solutions are essential as, without them, telecommunicators will become quickly overwhelmed by the high volume of information that flows to the PSAP.
PSAPs and other emergency telecommunication agencies must also consider storing and securing sensitive data. Public safety organizations need to determine if they’ll be storing data onsite or offsite with IP, cloud-based networks.
When it comes to public safety, the security of PSAPs systems and their data is crucial. This is particularly true as 911 organizations receive and manage data that includes details regarding HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), text messages, voice messages, videos, and photos containing sensitive information.
Preparing for the influx of data and the increase in cybersecurity attacks due to evolving digital technologies and systems means that PSAPs will have great adaptability after the transition to NG911.
The data streaming and emergency response effectiveness made possible by NG911 will provide PSAPs with enhanced situational awareness that will assist telecommunicators and first responders in their effectiveness.
To fully access Next Generation 911’s capabilities, PSAPs will need to address various technical impacts from 911 system dashboard interfacing to data-analytics solutions and storing and securing emergency information.
Would you like more information about Next Generation 911 for your PSAP or other public safety entity?