If it’s not available in your community already, chances are it soon will be. All of the major wireless carriers now provide text-to-911 services to their subscribers, and more than 900 PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) across the U.S. are now able to receive them, up from just over 100 PSAPs three years ago. Last year NICE conducted a survey of thousands of people nationwide to ask if, given the choice, they would prefer to call or text 9-1-1 in an emergency. To be expected, some 16 percent of millennials said they would text 9-1-1 instead of call if either option was appropriate in the situation, according to the Harris Poll.
As adoption of text-to-911 continues to grow, NICE has an important role to play, because all of those 9-1-1 texts need to be recorded and preserved, just as 9-1-1 calls are today. 9-1-1 centers will rely on the NG9-1-1-ready NICE Inform to record, document and reproduce Text-to-911, voice, and other multimedia communications for incident reconstructions, investigations and Quality Assurance.
Just ask Anita Pitt, 9-1-1 Program Manager, Brazos Valley Council of Governments (BVCOG). BVCOG, one of the early trailblazers in text-to-911, uses NICE Inform to record and manage all of their multi-media communications.
"Public Safety agencies would never think twice about recording every 9-1-1 call, even though they may only need to retrieve one call out of a thousand for legal documentation," said Pitt. "Agencies need to put the same emphasis on recording 9-1-1 Texts. NICE Inform provides our 9-1-1 centers with complete legal documentation of SMS 9-1-1 Texts, should they need it. It captures exactly what we need in exactly the right format." Pitt shares what she likes most about NICE Inform in this video:
BVCOG’s telecommunicators utilizes the Airbus DS Communications’ VESTA® call handling which enables native handling of text and voice in a single application. NICE Inform is integrated and certified for interoperability with this platform, as well as other leading Next Gen 911 solutions like West Corporation’s VIPER.
Leading the way in Next Gen solutions for managing multimedia, NICE also recently announced that it is offering the first cloud-ready Text-to-911 recording solution for AGENT511’s TEXTBLUE multimedia messaging platform. This will enable agencies using the AGENT511 TEXTBLUE platform to tap into NICE’s state-of-the-art technology for recording 9-1-1 texts and other multimedia communications – an increasing necessity as they move towards shared Next Generation 9-1-1 ESInet environments.
The integration of the two technologies enables PSAPs to harness NICE Inform for the recording of SMS Texts from the TEXTBLUE system and subsequently put them into context with other multimedia communications, such as recorded 9-1-1 calls, radio transmissions, operator screens, CAD data and events and more, for a complete, accurate record of incidents. The recordings and associated data are vital for quality assurance, investigations and incident debriefings. In addition to capturing the 9-1-1 SMS text conversations, NICE Inform also captures metadata from the text stream, including the caller ID, location, and dates and times for a complete legal record of who texted 9-1-1, from where and when, and what was said.
“As agencies move toward shared ESInet environments and full NG9-1-1, the ability to record multimedia communications in the cloud will become absolutely essential,” said Chris Wooten, Executive Vice President, NICE. “With the integration of our NICE Inform solution and AGENT511’s TEXTBLUE multimedia messaging, we are able to offer this capability to PSAPs today.”