Posted in NGA911 on Jul 08, 2022
Regarding public safety, the U.S. has made great strides with the adoption and implementation of NG9-1-1 (Next Generation 911). The NG911 system is an innovative infrastructure that allows for seamless communication between 911 callers, dispatchers, and first responders through interconnected IP (Internet Protocol) cloud-based networks.
While the Next Generation 911 system will guide public safety into the digital age with revolutionary telecommunications technology, migrating to NG911 can still be overwhelming for PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) already overloaded with 911 calls and deploying life-saving resources. With that said, a smooth transition to Next Generation 911 is possible.
Our trusted NG911 providers and experts at NGA have put together this blog post to help emergency call centers and other public safety organizations migrate to NG911 with less stress.
The first step to migrating your PSAP to NG911 is to upgrade your call center to Voice over IP (VoIP). VoIP is a modern telephone system that uses Internet Protocol (IP) to route calls.
Next Generation 911 is based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standard, so your first step in the migration process will be to migrate your call center from a traditional analog/digital phone system to a VoIP solution that supports SIP.
If possible, convert your non-emergency and administrative circuits from the central office switch to SIP trunking during this time. Your new setup will be ready to connect and communicate with the NG911 Emergency Services Network (ESInet) once it becomes available, thanks to SIP trunking.
The Next Generation infrastructure uses geospatial (longitude/latitude) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to provide PSAPs with accurate 911 caller locations. Upgrading your call center's mapping system lets your agency plot incoming emergency calls immediately.
Fortunately, your call center likely already has a mapping system set in place for the increase in wireless calls. However, upgrading your mapping system will allow you to integrate Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) capabilities into your mapping system.
Combining AVL capabilities with an upgraded mapping system will be extremely useful when locating public safety entity vehicles as they approach an incident, such as:
Implementing a mapping system that can support mobile use by first responders will also better prepare your call center for easier Next Generation 911 migration.
Because new NG911 standards are being established to allow computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems to communicate with one another and other system components, your CAD software will need to be upgraded. Upgrading your CAD software will allow your center to store conversations with the incidents in the data repository and connect calls for more detailed reporting.
Take advantage of the transition to a new NG911-enabled CAD system to move from several desktop computer systems to powerful all-in-one workstations with many displays. Today's simplified, all-in-one workstations are more powerful and can run numerous applications on a single workstation system.
You may now start to include more sophisticated NG911 capabilities like Short Messaging Service (SMS) into your PSAP once you've completed the basic functions of an NG911 PSAP solution. SMS (text messaging) support is already available as a web browser software, but NG911 i3 SMS messaging capabilities are becoming increasingly widespread.
Once your dispatchers are comfortable with communicating with 911 callers through NG911 multimedia capabilities, supporting emergency calls with videos, images, and text messaging will be more streamlined than ever before.
The final step is to interface with the ESInet once your PSAP personnel are comfortable and trained with NG911 multimedia communications. Establishing an SIP call is as simple as adding Session Border Controllers (SBCs) to your network and connecting them to the ESInet under the SIP architecture.
The ESInet connects to your ESInet so you can send and receive messages with the emergency network. The service and availability states of your PSAP are now provided to ESInet components, allowing for intelligent call routing of emergency calls.
Every call has real-time geospatial location data, enabling emergency responders to reach those in need faster. Additionally, your CAD system's Emergency Incident Data Documents (EIDD) may be shared with other NG911 implemented emergency call centers.
NG911 is an important step forward for emergency response. Following the steps in this blog post from Next Generation 911 providers, NGA, you can ensure your call center's migration goes as smoothly as possible. Remember to take things one step at a time and plan so your community can benefit from NG911.
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