This is part 1 of a 6-part series on Next Generation 911.
Part one | Part two | Part three | Part four | Part five | Part six
The manner by which the world communicates via phone has changed.
Recognizing this change, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) developed Next Generation 911 (NG 9-1-1).
NG 9-1-1 is an initiative aimed at updating 9-1-1 emergency services to accommodate a growing wireless society and provide individuals with additional ways to reach out for emergency services. It allows for the public to communicate with 9-1-1 emergency services the same way most people communicate with each other today using text and multi-media messages on mobile phones.
In 2000, NENA first began to address the shift in how individuals communicate via phone and the need for the public to be able to talk to 9-1-1 emergency services in different ways. By 2003, NENA started to create standards for what NG 9-1-1 really meant.
The goal with NENA's initiative was to provide guidelines for public safety answering points (PSAPs), which would define requirements for PSAPs to follow. However, as of 2016, these requirements have not been fully defined.
Many PSAPs are preparing for NG 9-1-1 requirements by updating technology to enable the acceptance of voice, video, text and data sent over IP networks from various communication devices.
Communicating with 9-1-1 services using NG 9-1-1 technology will work the same way communication via smartphones does now for personal usage. However, instead of sending messages between friends, family, coworkers and the like, messages will be exchanged between the general public and emergency text call takers.
The goal of this technology is to make sure individuals can communicate with 9-1-1 services in a variety of ways. It is the goal of NENA to make sure public safety agencies have guidelines and standards to follow when adaptation of this technology becomes mandatory.
Read part two of this series »
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