NG 9-1-1 Makes Progress in 2017

Each year, the National 911 Program and the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA) collaborate to collect the most comprehensive data on:

  • funding and revenue,
  • text-to-911,
  • progress toward implementing NG911 and
  • more.

Data is submitted voluntarily and is available through the Program’s National 911 Profile Database  and they

  • the Program and NASNA work together to analyze the results,
  • identify trends and
  • share the findings in the annual National 911 Progress Report.

The report calls out three major findings in its executive summary.

  1. The majority of 9-1-1 calls are increasingly received from cellphones.
  2. In addition, progress is being made toward implementing NG 9-1-1.
  3. 9-1-1 authorities are capable of using NG 9-1-1 infrastructure to process and interpret location and caller information for all service types in 21 percent of reporting states.

The report provides the segmented information state 911 leaders, legislators and policy makers need to make informed decisions about 911 services in their jurisdictions. The results of the data collection can have the ability to help a state advocate for policy changes, increased funding and more.

Here is the latest report:

National 911 Program Profile Database Progress Report 2017

How An Outside Expert Can Help Improve Innovation

In most office or business settings, you always work with the same group of people. You get to know each other very well, and you share ideas and make your business grow. However, what happens when you reach a point where you have stagnated and the business is not growing? Can your same team develop new ideas to stimulate an increase in profits? What else could you be doing?

By bringing in an external expert to help with the team’s innovation, you can jump start your progress and get your team and your business moving in the right direction. Your team has a limited background and limited set of skills. By bringing in even just one new person with a different skill set, you can drastically alter the direction of your business.

To make the most of an outside expert or consultant, make sure you set the stage with your team first. The team needs to know that their opinions are still valued, but that you are pushing them to grow and see the business and the problems in a different way. This expert can help. When you want innovation within a team, having a new set of eyes – even if they aren’t as familiar with the intimate details of your business – can make a dramatic improvement. Simply by asking questions – the right questions – the expert consultant can open the eyes of your existing team and create an innovate environment for all.

Because they are not long-term employees, external consultants are often able to be more direct and honest about the business situation. Often, this candor encourages people to see things as they really are instead of how they want them to be. Once the problem is more clearly defined with the help of the new expert consultant, it is often a collaborative effort between the external consultant and the existing team to innovate a solution to the problem.

Another advantage to bringing in an outside expert is that this expert is not afraid to ask questions. Often, having a new set of eyes on the team can trigger questions that were once considered as given assumptions. By challenging these assumptions, true innovation can begin. Once the artificial barriers are broken down by the questions and queries of the outsider, the team can begin to rebuild their base of assumptions and change their entire outlook on the problem and its potential solutions.

Bringing in an outside expert to help with innovation and problem solving can drastically shift the climate of your workplace. The existing team will begin to see the problem and potential solutions in a new manner and will begin to question their own assumptions. Bringing in someone with a different background can also add to the knowledge and skill base of the team and lead to a more varied and better list of solutions for the problem. Even after the external consultant leaves, the team will continue to have improved innovation based on their experiences.

CHALLENGES FACING 911 AS IT TRANSITIONS FROM E911 TO NG911

Today’s E911 network handles over 240 million calls per year. But its old architecture of routing callers depending on phone numbers gets outmoded the more that technology advances. And for this trouble the Next Generation 911 solution was developed.

However, NG-911 promises a resilient, flexible platform that will make it possible for public-safety answering points (PSAPs) to receive text, voice, video, and data information from emergency callers, but numerous challenges remain before such systems can be implemented and deployed throughout the United States of America.

The future of 9-1-1 NG911 offers huge benefits which include:

  • Data sharing between public-safety answering points (PSAPs)
  • Improved redundancy and reliability (virtual PSAPs)
  • Improved response times
  • Better service to citizenry, specifically the hearing-impaired
  • True System Interoperability
  • Greater visibility into emergency incidents: videos from public-safety systems, images and videos from citizenry, texts from and to citizenry

As with most technologies though, there will be challenges. Telecommunicators will be dealing with substantially more data and communicating with citizens and first responders in very new ways; so quite a lot of training and education will need to be put in motion as well as revamped policies, laws and regulations. But before we deal with these challenges we must face getting the system up and running, the huge challenge of integrating these technologies from an engineering and networking viewpoint.

Challenges and Costs

Even if regionalization helps to reduce the cost of upgrading 911 systems, some parts of new technology make modernization a challenge.

However, Next Generation 911 technology will certainly rely on an Internet Protocol-based system that will have to be protected from hacking. Also it will have to possess the ability to handle a wider range of technology than before, from rotary telephones to developing smart phone applications.

The changes needed to gratify NG911 also have related costs. Software and hardware updates to make the county’s system appropriate for others in the region will probably cost less than five hundred thousand dollars, while the texting service will probably cost the county two thousand four hundred dollars to four thousand dollars monthly.
Some other facts we learn about NG 9-1-1:

  • We have seen there are good reasons to wait and prepare for the arrival of NG911, though; it is still in its infancy right now.
  • By making a text to 911 will be the first thing integrated to 9-1-1 for the hearing impaired. It is up to NENA to embrace and adopt the protocol and figure out the next steps of bringing this standard into the communication centres.
  • Video is the next thing coming down the road…not just texting but being able to take shot of incidents and send video live from an incident while occurring and getting it to 9-1-1 instantly. So if you observe a bank robbery the 911 center could be watching your video live while happening.

Since Next Generation is not ready to go live yet, there is an alternative for call-taking centres to take the first step forward by making use of geo-diverse technology. This alternative solution is an Internet-Protocol-based emergency response system that allows agencies to receive emergency calls and assist sends the fastest, most appropriate emergency responders while also lightening the brunt of the major project updates that will be coming in the future.

Some Telecommunications in Chicago completed the implementation of a huge 911 system with this exact same type of solution. The great thing about this project was that there were three systems at three different call-taking centers, so the agency acquired the ability to move these positions to one area at a later date. Whenever they do, they will be able to do so without losing any data or having any disruption in the service. The other two locations can close down, or a dispatcher can log out and leave that area and go over to the hub center, log in and pick up the calls from their area at the hub continuing as normal. This solution prepares them for Next Generation 911.

14th Annual 9-1-1 Honor Awards Nominations Now Open

14th Annual 9-1-1 Honor Awards

February 28, 2017
Washington, D.C.

Nominations Now Open
Deadline: Monday, January 16, 2017
The NG9-1-1 Institute is seeking nominations for the
14th Annual 9-1-1 Honor Awards.Nomination Form

Email completed nomination form to: contactus@ng911institute.org

Deadline: Monday, January 16, 2017

All nominations (including self-nominations) welcome.  You do not need to be an NG9-1-1 Institute member to nominate or receive an award.

This NG911 Honor Awards Reception is a free widely attended public event hosted by the NG9-1-1 Institute, a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.  Congressional staff, the general public, public safety professionals, and members of the press are welcome. 

For more information; contactus@ng911institute.org