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The Road to NG911: Enhancing Public Safety Communication

A 911 dispatch control console, with the title "The road to NG911" and "June 2024"
The Road to Next Generation 911, June 2024

NG911 is a groundbreaking initiative in Canada and the United States designed to upgrade the current 911 service infrastructure. This modernization effort integrates advanced technologies and communication methods, including text-to-911, images, video, and data sharing with public safety answering points (PSAPs). It also aims to transition to IP-based devices (wired or wireless) over time, replacing outdated systems. Discover more about the limitations of current emergency communication systems. The future PSAP will not only receive information but also issue emergency alerts to wireless devices in specific areas and highway alert systems, enhancing public safety and response efficiency.

How Will These Changes Impact Public Safety Answering Points?

The implementation of NG911 will significantly impact public safety answering points (PSAPs). To handle the influx of new data types, PSAPs will need extensive upgrades to their IT equipment and software. Each control center is unique, so these updates will be tailored to their specific layouts and control consoles.

As the transition to Next Generation systems continues, stakeholders must address various challenges, such as securing funding, ensuring seamless technology integration, and providing comprehensive training for personnel. The precise configuration of an NG911 control room is still under discussion.

Key changes include upgrading communication recording systems, which currently only record audio, to handle new data types. Emergency telecommunicators will also require substantial new training to manage the increased workload and diverse communication forms.

NG911 will enhance the resilience of PSAPs during major disasters and lower operational costs by integrating a wide range of data sources, such as real-time health data from wearables, environmental sensors, and car crash notifications.

How Does NG911 Look Today?

To stay updated on the implementation of NG911 across the United States, visit the official NG911 Roadmap. This resource provides an overview of the five national goals essential for achieving a "system of systems." These goals include both technical and non-technical tasks that will enable states to interconnect their systems. Here are the goals as outlined by the official US NG911 Roadmap:


  1. Business and Governance: Develop strategies and resources to address policy, regulatory, governance, and funding challenges faced by jurisdictions, both individually during their transition to NG911 and collectively to achieve nationwide interconnectivity.

  2. Technology Goal: Encourage the adoption and implementation of NG911 technology by promoting NG911 open standards and establishing methods for validating emerging technologies for compliance and security.

  3. Data Goal: Enhance 911 services by establishing technical and operational data solutions that support cross-jurisdictional and nationwide situational awareness, information sharing, and predictive data analysis.

  4. Operations Goal: Identify, enhance, and promote operating procedures, performance evaluation, and professional development strategies that support the comprehensive and streamlined implementation of NG911 capabilities.

  5. Cross-Cutting Goal: Facilitate ongoing education and knowledge transfer.

For a detailed overview and progress updates, refer to the NG911 Roadmap.

Progress Toward Nationwide NG911

Significant progress has been made each year toward achieving the ultimate goals of NG911, thanks to the contributions of numerous organizations. However, reaching nationwide Next Generation 911 remains a monumental task that requires collaboration among public and private entities at all levels of government.

Join the APCO CAC Webinar on June 20th 1pm about Next Generation 911

To learn more about NG911, register for the upcoming APCO CAC webinar on June 20th at 1 PM. Our very own (name) and members of the APCO Commercial Advisory Council will explain NG911 terms and acronyms, provide a high-level technical overview, and discuss the operational impacts of NG911 capabilities [Register here].


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