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What are the different types of PSAPs? (Public safety answering point)

PSAP Definition:

Public safety answering points (PSAP), also known as public safety access points are dedicated 24/7 call centers responsible for answering 9-1-1 emergency calls, dispatching the appropriate emergency services, and transferring calls to other specialized agencies. According to specific operational policies, PSAPs can dispatch units on the field such as police officers, firefighters, and ambulance/paramedic services. PSAPs vary in terms of the population they serve and can be found both in large cities or smaller towns.

Types of PSAPs:

Due to improvements in communications technology and the nature of the activities in 9-1-1 dispatch centers, PSAPs have evolved to different variations to ensure the level of service to the population. For instance, with the introduction of back-up PSAPs in case, the first location fails or by joining forces with other agencies to create a centralized location. In this article, we will go over the different types of PSAPs and their characteristics.

  • Primary PSAP: A PSAP to which 9-1-1 calls are routed directly from the 9-1-1 control office.

    • Serving PSAP: The PSAP to which calls would normally be routed.

  • Secondary PSAP: A PSAP to which 9-1-1 calls are transferred from a primary PSAP to complete the call taking process by dispatching police, medical, fire, or other first responders.

  • Alternate PSAP: A pre-designated PSAP to temporarily receive 9-1-1 calls when the primary PSAP is unable to do so (e.g., because it is either traffic busy, or has activated night service), or due to a network failure that impacts connectivity to the PSAP.

  • Consolidated PSAP: A facility where one or more public safety agencies choose to operate as a single 9-1-1 entity. Sharing resources creates cost savings, better and faster responses, and ultimately provides a more efficient service.

  • Legacy PSAP: A PSAP that cannot receive calls via i3-defined interfaces (IP-based calls) and still requires the use of CAMA or ISDN trunk technology. In other words, a legacy PSAP would only handle voice media and TTY.

  • NG9-1-1 PSAP: This term is used to denote a PSAP capable of processing calls and accessing data services as defined in NENA's i3 specification, NENA-STA-010, and referred to therein as an "i3 PSAP".

Dispatch Consoles:

Sustema helps PSAPs design and optimize their call centers by manufacturing highly customized dispatch consoles. Whether it is for a PSAP consolidation, a secondary PSAP, or for a new primary PSAP, our team consultants and in-house designers will help you create the perfect solution for your dispatch center. Let us know how we can help!

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