June 19, 2014
In two new documents released today by International Data Corp. Canada (IDC Canada), Next Generation 9-1-1: A Generalist’s Overview and Communications Network Technology Perspective, analysts explore advanced emergency dispatch/incident management best practices regarding the incorporation of texting, social media, and image and video transfer tools by a number of Canadian and international public safety organizations.
According to the research firm, the objectives of NG9-1-1 initiatives are to provide a new communications infrastructure to allow the general public to make a 9-1-1 call, “using any real-time communication, be it voice, text, or video, from any wired, wireless, or IP-based device.
“These will also allow the emergency services community to take advantage of advanced call delivery, and rich media information transfer leveraging all types of data, through new Internet technologies based on open standards. NG9-1-1 has profound integration implications for emergency response, investigations, trial results, and archive processes. NG9-1-1 will change procedures and workflow dramatically, and will be an evolutionary process over the next 10 years and beyond.
The case studies within the document highlighted a number of significant barriers to adoption, including:
* Lack of effective governance mechanisms
* Inadequate legislative framework
* Privacy and security hurdles (i.e., network storage of data/evidence)
* Ownership and funding complexity
* Evolving technical standards
* Lack of qualified or trained staff (i.e., equally skilled with telephony and IT)
Despite such barriers, key drivers for the proliferation of NG9-1-1 initiatives include:
* Government mandates to provide text to/with 9-1-1 for the deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-impaired community as organizations globally become cognizant of this unacceptable service delivery gap.
* Technological obsolescence of legacy communications and the PSAP’s telephone and CAD systems.
* First responders acutely aware of implications that the proliferation of mobile and video technology has for response and investigation. Ubiquitous photo, video, and GIS capabilities – all of which are both IP and wirelessly enabled – are game changers, and first responders in all jurisdictions are intent on leveraging these tools.
“Across the board, NG9-1-1 is what keeps law enforcement up at night,” said Alison Brooks, research director with IDC Canada. “A game changer in terms of situational awareness, the community needs to strategize how to get ahead of the massive operational changes approaching.”