Emergency call center services have shown enormous evolvement over recent years, but unlike other markets and technologies, there is not only a desire to grow, but a needto become better. Not only do enhancements made in emergency 911 services and solutions benefit enterprise-level organizations and institutions who are working to secure that their customers are found, but improvements made will ultimately benefit their 911 customer protection services, as well.
One 911 call center in Sherman, Tex. is looking to up the ante further by testing out a new program which will enable residents to send text, videos and pictures to police dispatchers, ultimately raising the bar for the age of next-generation E911 services and solutions in aims to improve the city’s emergency and protection services.
But what is full next-generation 911? Michael Lee, VP of sales for Intrado (News - Alert), took the time to elaborate, which was recounted in a recent Emergency Management article by Jim McKay.
In a nutshell, next-generation E911 places great emphasis on “having a robust GIS solution so that you can graphically control your boundaries and the different things you need to control for 911 call routing,” Lee says. “It’s having calls delivered in via Internet Protocol (IP); it’s having that IP network delivering those calls get as close as it can to what the vision of i3 is through NENA (National Emergency Number Association).”
Lee added that GIS is “the future” of the face of E911, explaining that “this is where people have made sizeable investments not just from the public safety aspect, but from the county and city and state and municipality aspect…The more intricate and sophisticated your GIS solution is the more capability you enable.”
Sgt. Bruce Dawsey of the Sherman Police Department elaborates on how E911 services remain stunted, and how these next-gen solutions are allowing them to better prepare for the overflow of various caller concerns.
"The dispatcher is limited to what the caller tells them and that's the information that's provided to the officers that are responding to the scene,” says Dawsey. “So if we have smart technology that is available and a person can not only talk to dispatch and send video, of a fight in progress or a burglary in progress, then dispatchers can better prepare the officers when they are in route.”
The police department was able to roll out the new program thanks to a money grant which was awarded back in 2008, which is now in its final testing stage and is scheduled to take off during the second week of September.
"If it works out the way everyone hopes and it's practical to use, and it's beneficial, hopefully we'll see it roll out to the public," says Dawsey.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein