“The 911 calling public, especially the younger generation, wants and expects to use the various means they currently use for general communications to also access 911 emergency services,” said Roger Hixson, Technical Issues Director for
NENA. “They often assume that text-to-911 as well as voice is available, and that they can send a video to the 911 center.” Hixson made the comment during a recent NENA Webinar (What really happened? Reconstructing incidents in a multi-channel, multimedia world) sponsored by NICE Systems.
The webinar was the first in a series of online sessions that NICE will be sponsoring to keep emergency communications directors and staff members abreast on the latest technological advancements and their impact on emergency communications.
NENA’s Roger Hixson kicked off the webinar with an update on NG911 standards and early implementations, explaining that momentum is building. “More than 50% of the country is active in terms of planning or preparations for next generation 911,” he said, adding that integrated recording for all channels and content is an essential part of NG911.
Rod Guy, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for NICE Public Safety, spoke following Hixson. “Many PSAPs are either able to receive texts today or have plans to receive them over the next several budget cycles,” he said. “A number of departments are also exploring ways to accept photos and videos from citizens without waiting for the full implementation of NG911 capabilities, by leveraging over the top workarounds including smartphone apps.”
Guy went on to explain that to fully understand an incident and evaluate the decisions and actions of their telecommunicators, PSAPs need to be able to capture, manage and synchronize these multimedia interactions along with traditional ones to put them into proper context. “While PSAPs may not be dealing with a lot of digital channels or multimedia communications just yet, they still need to understand how to handle them in the future,” he stressed. According to Guy, this is where multi-channel, multimedia reconstruction is essential.
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As noted above,
What really happened? Reconstructing incidents in a multi-channel, multimedia world is the first in a series of webinars that NICE will be hosting for emergency communications forward-thinkers.
Please check our Emergency Communications Center (ECC) Hot Topic Webinar page often to see what other webinars are coming up. And if you have a suggestion for a future webinar topic,
we’d love to hear from you!