Getting E911 calls to the proper public safety answering point (PSAP) involves the use of caller ID. But not much can happen without the master street address guide (MSAG) database, especially if the agency is relying on E911 hosted solutions.
MSAG is the key to proper routing, according to this Avaya (News - Alert) blog. For next generation 911, which includes E911 hosted solutions, the reliance on automatic location identification (ALI) and automatic number identification (ANI) technologies will eventually fade away.
With the architecture of the new E911 technology, geographic information systems (GIS) are becoming an important part of the process. GIS involves hardware and software that work together to retrieve, store, map, and analyze geographical data. The spatial data is layered with a multitude of other data.
Scientists are using GIS for everything from tracking animals to monitoring the type of flora and fauna that flourish within ecosystems. But for 911 centers, their GIS systems are layered with traffic information, possible construction zones, and the important emergency jurisdiction information that is vital to dispatching help.
First responders are relying on this integration of GIS into the E911 systems to get them where they need to be as quickly as possible. In the case of E911 hosted solutions, GIS systems use precise longitude and latitude information to pinpoint the exact location of the emergency. The reliance on GIS means that the system has to be running correctly or it could cost lives.
What some might notice in computer-aided dispatch (CAD) applications is that maps of rural areas will often include roads with no names, which can be a problem for first responders, and is another reason why resources need to be dedicated to GIS.
On-premise call centers will take calls from wireless or landlines, and the GIS information is gathered from that point of call. The information that is gathered at a E911 hosted and on-premise centers includes the jurisdictions of fire, police, and ambulance services. The proper coordinates will help the E911 centers to dispatch the right first responder to the corresponding jurisdiction.
GIS can also overlay layers of information onto a map based on the spatial data provided. Various school districts, state agencies and departments, are examples of these layers, which can also be used in E911 hosted solutions.
GIS databases require proper maintenance and management. Roads can't be mislabeled and jurisdiction information has to be accurate. Everything has to be current. Sometimes this information is out of date or simply wrong because the costs associated with proper maintenance can be exceedingly high, unless you've got the right solution, and for some, it's an E911 hosted solution.
Edited by Tammy Wolf