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Chicomm Blog

The Benefits and Challenges of NG911

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Thursday, July 13, 2017

The promise of next generation 911, or NG911, is exciting: Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) will gain access to updated wireless communications technology – including text, video and enhanced location services – that bridges the gap between first responders and the communities who rely on them.

The 9-1-1 network has come a long way since it was created decades ago, but it still has far to go. Mark Fletcher does a good job of summarizing the progress of the 9-1-1 network in this article, where he writes “Today’s E911 network handles more than 240 million calls per year. But its archaic architecture of routing callers based on telephone numbers gets outmoded the more that technology advances.”

It was because of this problem with outdated emergency communications that the Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) solution was developed, an evolving system that has had its own share of benefits and challenges over time.

Tags: Public Safety Communications, Next Generation Public Safety, Safety Solutions

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6 Public Safety Blogs to Read In 2017

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Public safety blogs are a great way to keep up on the latest trends in technology for first responders, the new upgrades that are available and the innovative ways that agencies are using communications to keep communities safe.

The best public safety blogs represent a variety of perspectives and geographies, and they’re written by everyone from police chiefs to telecommunications executives. Many are updated frequently to keep readers consistently informed about public safety issues, and some of the ones we’ve compiled may be helpful gems that you’ve previously overlooked.

As we look forward to the new year, here are six public safety blogs to read in 2017:

Official Blog of the International Association of Chiefs of Police

With new posts several times a week, the blog of the IACP features insights on various aspects of policing, from community engagement to the group’s Benchmarking and Analytics Tool. It’s a good place to learn about what kinds of interventions and technology other agencies are using and have found to be successful.

Tags: Public Safety Communications, Next Generation Public Safety

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The 911 communications firm West’s Safety Services has been selected to develop and operate the 911 National Emergency Address Database (NEAD) platform, a move that brings the country’s first responders closer to better locating wireless customers who call 9-1-1 from indoors.

John Kearney, SVP & GM of West’s Safety Services, said in a statement that the company is “committed to developing new technologies for carriers that promise improved wireless location accuracy during a 9-1-1 emergency.”

“We agree with the FCC that providing a dispatchable address to our public safety partners is the ‘gold standard’ that the industry must pursue,” Kearney said. “We’re passionate about the NEAD project, which we believe will more effectively assist first responders in locating wireless callers.”

Tags: Public Safety Communications, Next Generation Public Safety

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The trend of 911 dispatch center consolidation isn’t going anywhere, and in some places, consolidation is even becoming the law. The impact on cities and towns varies widely, with some municipalities singing the praises of joining forces and others dreading the potential costs and losses of jobs.

Whether you’re considering 911 dispatch center consolidation – or are mandated to undertake it by law – let’s take a look at some of the real and potential impacts to cities and towns.

Tags: Public Safety Communications, Next Generation Public Safety

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The future of 9-1-1 communications is changing. The things that worked in the past have been sufficient but thanks to innovation and technology, there are now new opportunities to enhance the dynamic between the person reporting a public safety incident and the responder mediating the conversation. Cell phones and wireless connectivity are shaping up to be great contributors to the next generation of 9-1-1 operations.

While it may not be extremely evident yet, the incorporation of these new technologies in 9-1-1 responding has been evolving as peoples’ wireless usage changes. Next Generation 911 (NG911), will be a primary contributor to the new landscape of emergency reporting and response. Next Generation 9-1-1 pushes for the incorporation of wireless communication solutions to enhance public safety operations.

Tags: Public Safety Communications, Next Generation Public Safety, Safety Solutions

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For decades, people have known to call “911” to easily reach police, fire, or emergency medical assistance from any phone in any location. Created in the late 1960s, the system was designed to work with the technology that existed at the time -- wired phones in residences and businesses.

As technology has evolved, “911” has kept pace, going from a landline system to a sophisticated labyrinth of new capabilities that can enhance any crisis response, better protecting people and communities.

Here’s a sampling of the new technology that is now available to many emergency agencies:

Tags: Public Safety Communications, Next Generation Public Safety

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Getting to Next Generation 9-1-1(NG9-1-1) is a tall order and one in which we can’t lose functionality. We must add capabilities to support new devices, and we must be flexible to accommodate new data including text, images and video. A tall order.

Don’t get me wrong – the benefits for all of us, from call takers to administrators to first responders and citizens, of course, will be tremendous.

We, as citizens, will be able to request help from 9-1-1 in so many quick and easy ways. AndPublic Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) will have more information than ever to make the best decisions and provide the best response. But while we focus on when and how we’ll implement networks and enable connectivity, and worry about all of the things that are to come, we’re overlooking the most critical impact of NG9-1-1 – the impact it will have on our call takers’ experience, and what that means to the speed and accuracy of their responses.

Tags: Next Generation Public Safety

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We thought we’d round up some of the top highlights this week in the Communication world and give them to you in one place. Check out some buzz worthy stories happening in the wireless communication, hospitality, and public safety world!

1) Public Safety Grants: The Assistance to Firefighters Grant deadline is TODAY! Be sure to check out the FEMA website if you haven’t already. If you’ve ran out of time for this grant, don’t worry. There’s a few more with deadlines that are soon approaching. Be sure to check out Grants for Public Safety’s website to see if you qualify for any of these grants!

Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Wireless Communication, Next Generation Public Safety, Grant Funding, Safety Solutions, FCC

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We thought we’d round up some of the top highlights this week in the Communication world and give them to you in one place. Check out some buzz worthy stories happening in the wireless communication and public safety world!

1)  Drones- Although the majority of the public fears the use of drones and their own privacy, firefighters are actually encouraging the use of these robots. They say the drones can help spot and view fires before the firefighters even get to the blaze, allowing for more adequate relief. Right now, officers can only see the fire when it’s right in front of them. These drones would consist of a camera strapped to an aviation unit, to help firefighters identify the blaze. Fireflight owner, Jerry Stuckey said, "The way I see it, it's technology, and technology that can save lives and property." Read more on the implementation of drones to help firefighters here.

Tags: Motorola Solutions, Wireless Communication, Next Generation Public Safety, Safety Solutions

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We thought we’d round up some of the top highlights this week in the Communication world and give them to you in one place. Check out some buzz worthy stories happening in the wireless communication and public safety world!

 

1) The Council On Financial Reform (COFAR) Fraud Alert: FEMA announced that there are scam artists claiming to be the Council on Financial Reform contacting individuals reporting that they’ve received grants from the government. However, the individual must pay a processing fee which can only be paid by giving up bank account information. COFAR stresses that they will never ask for such personal information when dealing with grants. Read more on this topic on the Grant Fraud website.

Tags: Public Safety Communications, Next Generation Public Safety, FCC, Social Media

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