Never Upgrade to NG911 Without Addressing These Five Topics
By Alex Gruber, Vice President of Product & Design at Carbyne
As technology continues to evolve, emergency response systems have also undergone significant changes over the years. Next Generation 911 (NG911) is the latest evolution of emergency communication systems that aims to improve response times and the quality of emergency services. If you’re considering upgrading to NG911, here are five topics you need to address:
- COMPATIBILITY WITH EXISTING SYSTEMS
Before upgrading to NG911, it is essential to consider the compatibility of your existing systems with the new technology. You will need to evaluate your current 911 infrastructure, including call handling equipment, computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems, and radio systems. Make sure to work with a qualified vendor to ensure that your existing systems can integrate with NG911 technology. Modern cloud-native technologies generally offer the most flexibility in terms of system compatibility.
- DATA INTEGRATION
NG911 provides additional data sources beyond traditional phone calls, such as text messages, photos, videos, and social media messages. The integration of these additional data sources into the emergency response system can help provide more context to dispatchers and first responders. However, this requires careful consideration of how to integrate and manage these new data sources effectively. Fortunately today’s cloud-native solutions are able to integrate with not just your on-premise systems, but also external systems, maximizing your center’s data integration capabilities.
- TRAINING AND EDUCATION
Upgrading to NG911 requires staff training and education to ensure that your dispatchers and first responders can use the new technology effectively. Make sure that your staff has the necessary skills and knowledge to use the new system before implementation. Consider providing regular training and support to ensure that they stay up-to-date on the latest NG911 technology. When choosing your technology vendors, insist on a formal training and education program so your center is not left high and dry after the system deployment engineers vacate your premises.
- CAPITAL AND OPERATING COST
Upgrading to NG911 can be costly. You will need to budget for new hardware and software, ongoing maintenance, and staff training. However, it is essential to keep in mind the potential long-term benefits of upgrading, such as improved response times, better data integration, and increased efficiency in emergency response operations. You can also make the smart choice to convert lumpy and unpredictable capital expenditures into steady and predictable operating costs by opting for Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for your NG911 upgrade.
- SECURITY AND PRIVACY
As NG911 uses additional data sources, there is an increased risk of security breaches and privacy violations. Make sure that you have appropriate security measures in place to protect sensitive information and ensure that all data is transmitted securely. Additionally, you will need to comply with local and federal regulations related to data privacy and security. Interestingly cloud-native systems which are subject to hacking attempts on a daily basis are hardened against these intrusions and feature Zero Trust Architecture and Perimeter-less Architecture which ensure your sensitive data is off limits to hackers on the internet.
In conclusion, upgrading to NG911 is a significant undertaking that requires careful consideration of various factors. By considering compatibility with existing systems, data integration, training and education, cost considerations, and security and privacy, you can ensure a successful transition to NG911 that will improve the safety of your community.
If you would like to take a 3-minute PSAP assessment to learn how innovative technologies like NG911 can contribute to your center, please visit www.carbyne.com.