Next Generation 9-1-1 Call Handling and Beyond
Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) is an initiative to update the 9-1-1 service infrastructure and improve public emergency communications services in a growingly wireless mobile society. It will enable the public to transmit text, images, video, and data to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
The mandated CRTC timeline that originally stated PSAPs must transition from voice-only to digital was slated for March 2021 and has now been moved to March 2022, making it imperative that PSAPs start their transition now. The CRTC has not yet announced the deadline for PSAPs to be able to receive text messages.
Call handling solutions need to be implemented as soon as possible to meet the deadline, and some technologies and solutions can make the transition much easier. Read on as we delve into the full suite of NG9-1-1 call handling solutions that can help PSAPs meet the March 2022 deadline.
Some of the advantages of the move from voice-only to digital are listed below. To make the most of NG9-1-1, PSAPs need a well-rounded solution.
Some of the advantages of the transition requirements include:
- The ability for call takers to collect information in a variety of formats, including voice, text, pictures, and video
- Allowing citizens to text 9-1-1, which is helpful in situations where a phone call cannot be made
- Improve response time as a caller’s location will be automatically routed to the nearest PSAP
- Minimize wait time–with analog systems, callers wait up to 30 seconds, but with digital that time is reduced to 3 seconds
- More precise location data so PSAPs can dispatch first responders faster
Call handling is the foundation of NG9-1-1, and there are many factors PSAPs need to consider when implementing a call handing system, as we’ve written about previously. Industry-leading solutions are engineered to streamline the call-taking process, from the underlying call control technology to the user interface. Purpose-built call handling solutions are ideal. Legacy models can be modified to process digital calls but don’t have the same capabilities of a solution designed to meet NG9-1-1 standards. Additionally, modified call handling solutions are not capable of customization or receiving text and multimedia messages. Some PSAPs are scrambling to implement call handling solutions as the CTRC deadline approaches. In this case, your PSAP should purchase a solution that can scale as the standards evolve. It’s important to find a solution that can handle the following types of data, whether they need to be implemented right now or in the future:
- Next-generation voice
- Real-time texting
- 3D location mapping
- Image-enriched messaging
- Video-enhanced data
Call handling is the foundation of NG9-1-1, but other solutions can help optimize PSAPs functionality when transitioning to NG9-1-1 compliance.
NG9-1-1 compatible call logging systems can capture communication in landline, mobile, radio, text-to-911, video, email, and image formats. Call logging solutions can get the most data from each interaction, regardless of location, and powerful software makes records easy to find. Leading solutions on the market allow PSAPS to perform multiple tasks from the same platform to:
- Find recordings faster
- Back up data, so a recording is never missed
- Perform multiple actions such as tagging, recording, and retrieval
- Export or download files
- Redact information
- Instantly recall recent ongoing calls
- Partition access to specific features
Dispatch consoles allow dispatchers to remain in constant contact with first responders to relay vital information. Some features of best-in-class dispatch consoles include:
- Full redundancy to ensure no interruptions with multiple built-in redundancy layers
- Interoperability with leading public safety tools from P25 radios to National
- Emergency Number Association (NENA) headsets
- A future proof platform that can be upgraded as NG9-1-1 standards evolve
- An interface that can be customized to meet induvial PSAP needs
NG9-1-1 continues to evolve, and over time, more features will be mandated. Having a best-in-class solution that can be customized and scaled as the standard is imperative. ROCK Networks works with a range of leading providers to offer an end-to-end solution. From call handling solutions, call logging recorders, to dispatch consoles, we work with industry-leading providers to customize an NG9-1-1 solution that meets your needs. Now that you understand the features of each NG 9-1-1 solution, you can take the next step in finding a provider. Watch our NENA presentation for more information and the questions you should ask as you embark on implementing an NG9-1-1 solution.