Brian AndersonMarch 03, 2022

What’s Next for NG9-1-1? One Pane of Glass for Emergency Management

Public sector agencies and educational institutions must be positioned to quickly detect, manage, and respond to threatening situations – from severe weather to active shooters and now pandemics. This requires the latest communication technology to alert employees, constituents, students, and first responders.

Real-time emergency management operations are now part of a technology ecosystem that allows public safety and law enforcement personnel to correlate Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) and location services data from disparate sources to respond to crises more effectively – and even solve crimes.

Consider the tie-in of video cameras and door locks, which makes it possible to lock down a college campus with a touch of a button. Infrared cameras can now detect people with weapons in their waistbands or handbag. Infrared technology can take the temperature of a crowd at a sporting event or concert. Instead of scanning every person, security operations look for those outliers that might have elevated temperatures indicating a serious illness like the coronavirus. They can be pulled aside for further investigation.

Real-time crime and emergency centers

On a large scale, full NG9-1-1 data is being pulled into what now can be described as real-time crime and emergency management centers. Previously, real-time emergency operation centers consisting of multiple agencies were stood up to address a disaster or emergency crisis and then shut down. Now state and local governments have full-time operation centers with data coming from multi-channels—NG911, license plate readers, traffic cameras, etc.— all the time.

For example, several years ago there was a robbery in Florida that police suspected was linked with eight other robberies in the area. The only witness said the robbers fled in a white van, which is not very descriptive. Since the police had software tools, they decided to put them to use. They plugged in the times of the robberies and white vans. The software searched the proximity of those addresses and picked out all white vans that were common. They found eight targets, sent detectives to investigate, and found the robbers. This type of technology is also being used for Amber Alerts.

The point is that public safety agencies are using this NG-9-1-1 and locations services technology all the time now. This is what is changing the playing field. The other game-changer is agencies now share the information. There was a time when law enforcement in a municipality and the county sheriff could not talk with each other because they had different radio frequencies. Now technology allows police officers on different radio frequencies, such as Texas State Troopers in Dallas and Houston, to communicate while still using their native frequencies.

The agencies can deploy Internet Protocol (IP) technology in the background to link together the different radio frequencies. Now the different police forces or public safety organizations can collaborate, share files, pictures, and more. Overall, NG9-1-1 and police enforcement technology are finally coming together in the public realm so agencies can share information in near real-time. This makes the public arena much safer. We now have one pane of glass to help us with public and campus safety.

Overcoming Adoption Challenges                         

So, what are the barriers for agencies to implementing NG9-1-1 and other communication technology that helps emergency management personnel communicate and collaborate in near real-time?

  • First, all stakeholders must be on the same page in choosing the best solution for their agency. Remember solutions must be shared across agencies. Get five people in a room and you get five different opinions. So, everyone should opt for the same solution.
  • Agencies must engage in information-sharing agreements to set the basis for why and how data should be used.
  • Military and civilian NG9-1-1 capabilities must be coordinated. Currently, there must be changes in security permissions with the military on the receiver side when answering 9-1-1 calls. In the civilian realm, emergency personnel connects to core NG9-1-1 services, which route them to the location of the call. However, the military network and the private networks do not interact. So, there will have to be changed in rules and security permissions.

There are several issues to overcome. The technology is here, there are just human and behavior aspects that need to be worked out.

How Avaya Can Help

Avaya offers the latest in communications technology that lets you interconnect people, resources, data, and solutions to deliver information and respond to emergencies faster and more precisely than ever before.

For example, Avaya OneCloud solutions for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), provide enterprise organizations with a fast, convenient, and automated path to the benefits of cloud communications. Avaya’s solutions focus on supporting any kind of voice, video, text, or social real-time or near-real-time communication. Avaya has the capabilities to help you turn your NG9-1-1 center into a full contact center, the next stage in the evolution of emergency management operations.

To learn more about Avaya’s public safety initiatives and thought leadership watch the webinar NG-911:  Ensuring Compliance, Leveraging Enhancements, and Managing Emergencies.

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Don’t Skimp on NG-911. Lives are at stake.