NGA911’s Next Generation 911 Call System brings emergency response into the digital era

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NGA911, a leading provider of advanced 911 emergency response call center technologies, has launched a new 911 platform that provides public-safety answering points (PSAPs) with an innovative technology to dramatically improve 911 call responses.

Overhauling outdated 40-year-old 911 technology, the new Next Generation 911 Call System is capable of handling modern cellular technologies, and has the potential to dramatically improve emergency response times, which can prove to be critical in many situations. The new system will be particularly beneficial in the handling of emergency calls resulting from traffic accidents, where the majority of calls are now being made using cell phones.

The Next Generation 911 Call System (NG911) functions as an adjunct for existing emergency response systems, but improves location and jurisdictional routing. It also provides 911 centers with a pathway toward next-generation calling, texting, multimedia messaging, and video streaming options, which can provide emergency response times with vital on-the-ground data.

Previously, callers only used landlines, which could be easily tied to a physical location. Now, more than 85% of 911 calls are made using cell phones, and the telecommunications industry framework was not designed to automatically provide 911 centers with wireless callers’ location.

If the call center’s system is having difficulty establishing the caller’s location, then the legacy system will route it depending on how it is ‘hitting’ the side of nearby cell towers. This can cause calls to be transferred to other PSAPs, so the caller has to restart their description of the accident/problem, which causes undue delays and potential injuries or death.

NGA911’s solution solves this problem by significantly improving location routing through its support of exact latitude and longitude, cell tower sector, and physical address location methods. The NG911 system evaluates the data on an incoming call in real time to establish coordinates data, and immediately identifies the right PSAP that should receive the call. This improved location routing also aids with any jurisdictional issues, as mobile callers can now be routed to the correct local 911 center, so police or fire or other appropriate agencies can quickly respond to emergencies in their covered jurisdictions.

Emergency centers are also impacted by the sheer number of calls, as mobile phones mean dozens of people could call 911 about a car accident, which floods the system. The new system from NGA911 removes the need for old-fashioned telephone lines by replacing them with the equivalent of a high-speed emergency services network.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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