Enabling 911 Emergency Response

North American 911 Contact Centers Face New Opportunities and Urgent Issues
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Published: 20 Jun 2016

Public contact centers or public safety answering points (PSAPs) are moving from basic 911 and enhanced or E911, noted for caller location tracking and number reporting, to Next Generation 911 (NG911). NG911 is a standards-based, IP emergency communications infrastructure that supports integrated voice, text, data (including Internet of Things [IoT] and telemetry), photos, and video. NG911 relies on Emergency Services IP Networks (ESInets), which are privately-provided specialized managed IP networks that transport incidents from contacting parties to PSAPs. But these new NG911 technologies must be tightly integrated with existing technologies, most notably computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems for end-to-end incident response from callers to first responders. There also are changes in the nature of incidents that PSAP agents (known as call takers), are responding to. Yet the ability of PSAPs to invest in the people, process, and technologies to handle an array of challenges and opportunities depends on the public’s willingness to fund them.

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