Getting Ready for Next Generation 911
The First Call to 911 in the US
February 16, 2022, marks the 54th anniversary of the first completed 911 call in the United States. The auspicious call was placed from the mayor’s office in Haleyville, Alabama, and answered at the nearby police station with a simple “hello.” This first call was, of course, not an emergency but it is very different from the 911 call centers we know today.
From those humble beginnings, 911 services have evolved through the years. Technology at call centers has improved, response times have gotten shorter but the call to 911 could still only be captured through phone calls.
Next Generation 911
Fast forward to today, and the advent of Next Generation 911 (NG911). When Next Generation 911 is implemented, it allows 911 call center operators to not only receive modern communication methods such as text, video, and photo, in addition to voice, but also get better data to pinpoint the location of the emergency. These enhancements to emergency services can be daunting and because of that, the adoption of NG911 across the country has been slow going. In many cases, all the old rules for addressing locations had to be thrown out the window, and new methodologies needed to come into play. JMT Technology Group has helped several counties not only write grants to get funding to make the move to Next Generation 911 but also engage addressing stakeholders, assess current address data layers, identify sub-address opportunities, and develop addressing best practices.
Sub-addressing is our Specialty
Imagine that you are in a mall and a stranger near you has a sudden medical emergency, you call 911 for help – “911, what’s your emergency?” How do you describe where you are? “There is a medical emergency - I’m near…the food court?” How can emergency services find you inside that larger structure of the mall? That is where having detailed sub-addresses can save the day. When the interior space of a larger building, such as an airport, a mall, or an apartment building is mapped and addressed correctly it can shave minutes off the emergency response time. And when seconds count, this can have a huge impact on the outcome of the emergency response. JMT Technology Group has guided counties through the process of creating the plan to execute sub-addressing in their area. We have developed tools and tips to help expedite the sub-addressing process getting them the reliable addressing data they need faster to better serve their communities.
JMT Technology Group believes in the Benefits of Next Generation 911
The Next Generation 911 efforts at JMT Technology Group are led by Nick DiPaolo, GISP, a veteran volunteer firefighter and member of his county’s land search and rescue team. He has advanced emergency operations training and has aided his departments in developing GIS-related applications for locating hydrants, routing emergency vehicles, and preplanning. Additionally, Nick is a member of the NENA NG911 GIS Data Model Working Group which consists of 60 people in the United States and Canada who are tasked with reviewing the next GIS model release for NG911. Nick’s passion for public safety coupled with extensive experience related to geospatial technologies makes him a valuable resource.