Posted on Sep 08, 2021
As an emergency first responder, you know better than anyone that every single individual benefits from 911 services and technology. While you may understand that modern and reliable technology is essential for the public safety industry, you might not know that the NG911 system has all but replaced traditional structures.
The transition to Next Generation 911 (NG911) may have already begun depending on where you live. Across the U.S., many emergency telecommunication agencies, first responders, and jurisdictions are finding it challenging to make a smooth shift.
In this guide, our experts at NGA 911 discuss what you can do to help ease the transition to Next Generation 911 as well as provide helpful resources in case you need additional assistance and support.
Many 911 telecommunications fear that making the switch to NG911 will include more work on their already overloaded plate. While a valid concern, the Next Generation 911 system is designed to make your job more streamlined and less taxing.
Consider this: how can you as a telecommunicator take advantage of this technology to make your job easier and improve your ability to help protect the general public?
The answer: By educating yourself on what NG911 is, knowing the benefits, and knowing its future potential.
For a long time, 911 call takers have been asking for better ways to discover a caller's exact location and get information to responders more quickly and accurately. NG911 has the tools readily available to complete both of these requests.
All that's needed now is for telecommunicators and other public safety professionals to embrace this system in ways that can make their jobs better overall.
Many telecommunicators may often avoid joining groups that come off as too technical or intimidating. This is understandable as 911 responders such as yourself deal with changing technology and highly stressful situations on a daily basis.
However, joining a group with other professionals that focus on NG911 and its standards can help you better understand:
As a telecommunicator, you are the one that has to live by the procedures and policies of emergency systems day in and day out. This means you are the best resource any agency can have when trying to implement policies and procedures to support new technology.
In your position as the very first responder, it never hurts to get more involved where you can!
If you are unsure of how your PSAP/ECC is handling the transition to NG911, you can always find out what other agencies are doing. You can also speak with your supervisor to learn more.
Questions to ask can include:
Our experts at NGA911 recommend asking questions about how your company will handle the new technology that comes with the NG911 system. It's important to know how your agency will handle incoming videos, text messages, and photos relating to emergencies.
Remember: You as the telecommunicator are the most important resource, not the technology. While reliable, it's not the NG911 system that makes 911 assistance work.
It's dispatchers like you who do the job, and you play a pivotal role in making a difference. As such, doing what you can to ease the Next Generation 911 transition can only result in keeping more people safe and saving more lives!