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)
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)
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.
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.
The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
3 9-1-1 Access and Communications ."
Preparedness and Response to a Rural Mass Casualty Incident: Workshop Summary . Washington, DC: The National Academies Press,
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