BOX 3-1

Suggested Challenges Facing 9-1-1 Centers

  • Areas without any 9-1-1 service

  • Areas without wireless coverage

  • Ability to receive and respond to text and interactive video calls, and multimedia data

  • Ability to locate callers, both:

    • Discerning the geographic location or street address of the caller

    • Responders finding the site of the incident (missing street signs, standardized 9-1-1 house numbers versus rural delivery addresses)

  • Funding

    • Availability

    • Restrictions on the use of grant funding

  • Recruiting and retaining qualified dispatchers

  • Ability to provide emergency medical dispatch (prearrival instructions)

  • Ability to provide backup and overflow capacity such that calls can be transferred between PSAPs

  • Unfamiliarity with or fear of technology

  • Systems redundancy in the same physical space (e.g., primary and backup phone trunks run along the same highway; may both be rendered inoperable at the same time)

BOX 3-2

Suggestions for Overcoming the Challenges

  • In implementing Next Generation 9-1-1:

    • Central or state authorities can provide technological and operational guidance, and funding to localities based on individual needs and current capabilities.

    • Federal programs can provide best practices for communication projects.

  • Granting agencies need to have a common vision that promotes interoperable standards and guidelines.

  • States’ roles:

    • Leverage centralized resources and existing communication assets.

    • Plan with the end in mind.

    • Assume a coordinating role, assist in promoting and supporting regional initiatives through public-private partnerships:

      • Proactive outreach to those that could share expertise and resources.

      • Form strategic alliances with those that could provide support.

    • Maintain a “brokering role” between local needs and federal opportunities.

    • Promote cross-jurisdiction interoperability of policy, technology, and funding.

    • Establish minimum capabilities and equal access to service for all states and all constituents, regardless of local communications platform.

    • Collaborate with local communities to reduce and address legal and regulatory barriers they might face in implementing Next Generation 9-1-1.

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