Arlington, VA – As public safety professionals from throughout the U.S. converged on the nation’s capital for the fourth annual 9-1-1 Goes to Washington, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) announced the release of Next Generation 9-1-1: Responding to an Urgent Need for Change. The document summarizes the initial findings, recommendations of NENA’s NG E9-1-1 Program, and graphically describes the blueprint for a new “system of systems” to serve 9-1-1 and emergency communications into the future.
“The 9-1-1 system of today has been stretched to its limit due to the advancement of modern communications technology, and is ill-equipped to handle calls from, and take advantage of, new and future communications technologies,” said Dr. Robert Cobb, NG E9-1-1 Program Manager. “The recommendations in this report will have far-reaching implications not just for 9-1-1 but for all of emergency communications. Emerging technology is presenting us with tremendous challenges, but also opportunities to have a system that can respond to calls for help-anytime, anywhere, and with any device.”
NENA formed the NG E9-1-1 Program as a public-private partnership to improve the nation’s 9-1-1 system and to establish a cohesive vision between technology providers and public safety stakeholders. Their goal has been to address the critical need for an IP-enabled Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) system, one that adapts rapidly to new technology and supports new communications devices such as text messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The report is the culmination of nine face-to-face roundtable meetings in 2005, which brought together NG E9-1-1 Program partners, NENA staff and invited content experts. The 26 program partners represent wireline providers, wireless carriers, VoIP service providers, 9-1-1 product or service vendors and non-profit organizations. Multiple roundtable meetings focused on policy, technology, operations and education issues.
Several hundred participants at 9-1-1 Goes to Washington, sponsored by NENA and the E9-1-1 Institute, will receive a briefing on the findings and copies of the report which will be shared with their congressional representatives and other policy leaders in face-to-face meetings scheduled on March 8th. “It’s critically important that Congress and our federal colleagues at the FCC, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation and Department of Commerce among others, recognize the urgent need for change in the fundamental way our 9-1-1 system is designed, funded and operated,” said David Jones, ENP, President of NENA. “The traditional federal, state and local roles have to be re-evaluated and new federal and state legislation needs to be considered.”
Visit http://www.nena.org for an electronic copy of the NG E9-1-1 report and for additional information on the 2006 NG E9-1-1 program.