National 911 office to establish 911 technical assistance center

The national E911 Implementation Coordination Office (National 911 Office) recently launched an initiative to create a technical assistance center, which will be led by L. Robert Kimball & Associates (Kimball) and a team of 911 experts, including the National Emergency Number Association. The center will provide emergency 911 centers and 911 authorities with a new resource to help promote and enhance efforts for deploying advanced 911 capabilities and improve receiving and processing of 911 calls and data.

A key component of the technical assistance center (TAC) is an information clearinghouse intended to accumulate a collection of resources related to 911 and emergency services. The TAC will make technical, operational, and policy information available; address frequently asked questions; provide the latest information on new technologies, wireless deployment, and Next Generation 911 (NG911); and provide information to facilitate improved Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) operations. As part of this effort, a searchable Web site will be established that will provide users an opportunity to post detailed questions to 911 subject matter experts.

To target the types of information most useful to stakeholders, the TAC will collect information on progress and achievements in 911 delivery and deployment. It also provides an up-to-date tool to demonstrate where the emergency communications industry stands as it works to develop advanced 911 systems that support new communications devices.

“One of the major responsibilities of the National 911 Office, created by the ENHANCE 911 Act passed in 2004, is to develop, collect, and disseminate information concerning practices, procedures, and technology used in the implementation of E911 services. The Technical Assistance Center is being designed to help the National 911 Office address that responsibility,” commented Joel McCamley, vice president, Kimball.

“It is our vision to make the TAC an indispensible “go to” source for the 911 community to find up-to-date, reliable, and helpful information relating to 911,” said Gordon Vanauken, telecommunications specialist at Kimball.

“Whether looking for information to help manage the challenge of the day, or looking for ideas to plan for the future, the TAC will be an invaluable resource to the emergency response community, policy makers and even members of the media, all of whom are constantly in search of the latest information,” added NENA Development Director Robert Cobb, ENP.

The new technical assistance center will be available mid-2009.

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