PSAPs Need to Act NOW to Be Ready for the CRTC’s Mandated NG9-1-1 Transition Timelines
As a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), you are likely aware that the mandated NG9-1-1 transition timeline for moving to Next-Generation 9-1-1 is looming. The CTRC’s deadline to shift from voice-only to digital for emergency calls is March 30, 2024. While three years may seem like ample time, it’s not for a project of this magnitude. The time to plan and assemble your teams is now.
In April 2020, the CTRC moved the mandated NG9-1-1 transition timelines from June 2023 to March 2024, acknowledging that during a pandemic, it was more important for PSAPs to maintain their current networks. This allowed some PSAPs to breathe a small sigh of relief. But we are now over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, and PSAPs that haven’t started the migration process may be left scrambling.
What PSAPs Need to Do Now
Transitioning to the next generation of emergency communications can seem daunting. But there is only one thing you really need to focus on right now: implementing a call handling system. To be ahead of the game, you can install logging recorders and dispatch consoles, but if your department’s resources are already stretched thin because of the COVID-19 pandemic, focus on call handling.
When choosing a call handling solution, it’s important to implement a system that is specifically designed for NG9-1-1. With such a tight timeframe in place, it could be tempting to modify existing systems to fit new NG9-1-1 requirements. However, this will inevitably cause disruptions when maintenance is needed. For a smooth transition, it’s important to get it right from the beginning. Selecting a customizable solution that lets you pay for the features you need as you need them with access to in-house technical support will ease the transition.
Factors to Consider
Installing NG9-1-1 systems can be a complicated and time-consuming endeavour. There are lessons to be learned from PSAPs across the country who have already begun the transition.
Some PSAPs are reporting that they don’t have enough space in their server rooms. In some buildings, the elevators are too small or can’t support the heavy new equipment. In some offices, floors needed to be reinforced to support the weight of the new data racks.
Change management is another important consideration. Some PSAPs created cross-functional steering committees of project managers and business analysts. It’s essential to include call takers early in the process, train them, and provide demos to ensure buy-in.
Some PSAPs are ready now, and many have started the acquisition process. The PSAPs that haven’t started the transition need to move to action as soon as practical.
The CRTC will decommission the current systems in 2021. Do not count on the CRTC moving the Mandated NG9-1-1 Transition Timelines again. Instead, take the first step today and download our NG9-1-1 Guide. Ready to learn more? Contact us for a demo of ROCK Network’s NG9-1-1 solution.