Winbourne Consulting offers a full range of public safety services, including strategic planning, systems integration, specifications development, solution acquisition, and implementation project management and quality assurance.
Our Areas of Expertise encompass all segments of Public Safety, including:
Our Clients include city, county, state, and federal agencies located throughout the United States and the world, as well as countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America.
Internet of Things, Smart Cities—Can 9-1-1 Keep Up?
A new and evolving term is becoming the recipient of much investment and interest—Internet of Things (IoT). As our civilization continues to become more and more dependent on devices using Internet-based communications, IoT represents how the applications, devices and systems interact with or without human intervention.
According to Gartner, Inc. there will be nearly 26 billion Internet Protocol (IP) capable devices used world-wide by 2020, and connected “things” to 6.4 billion devices by 2016. Another technology research firm, ABI Research, estimates that more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected by 2020. The wide variety of these IP devices is referred to as the “Internet of Things” or “IoT”. As more wireless IP devices come into use, the challenge of how emergency communications centers will communicate with people using these devices continues to grow. On the flip side there will be a growing requirement for the IoT devices to directly communicate with the PSAP systems, such as alarms, cameras, and other sensors. The original concept associated with Next Generation 9-1-1 systems (NG9-1-1) was to meet this challenge.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
The range of IoT devices includes a growing list of Smart-phone like devices that transmit and receive communications using voice, text, video, and photos. However, IoT goes beyond the use of Smart devices or phones. Typically, IoT also includes devices, systems, and services that provide machine-to-machine communications (M2M) using a myriad of protocols, domains, and applications.
Broadly speaking the “Things” in the IoT, refers not only to smart phones and smart pads but also heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, electric clams in coastal waters, automobiles with built-in sensors, industrial process controllers, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue. “Things” also include appliances like smart thermostat systems and washer/dryers that utilize Wi-Fi for remote monitoring. These devices collect data, interact and communicate with other technologies and devices.
Our cities have hundreds of traffic and crime surveillance security cameras, our homes are connected to the utility companies by monitoring sensors, and our healthcare is managed by connecting medical staff and patients to a myriad of machines and data bases. All these applications require the support of 24/7 network availability.
What Does the IoT Mean for Emergency Communications?
The challenges to emergency communications is already making itself clear. Our industry has developed standards and is implementing the Internet Protocol based Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems that provide the technical basis for any device to connect to a 9-1-1 center. As more states, regions and local jurisdictions plan and implement NG9-1-1, those actions are challenged by consumer electronics firms that are developing more devices using differing protocols and technology to travel on the IP highway.
Connected IoT Devices are Everywhere
In addition to the growing use of Smart Phones and the multiple communications apps residing on them, to include email, text, FaceBook, twitter, Viber, WhatsApp, text, and photos, the PSAP of the future will be challenged by IoT devices that can send data of many types to the PSAP. Data is also expected to come from IP devices such as sensors and cameras used by transportation centers, telecommunications companies and public utilities, as examples. As the multitude of new applications used by Internet connected devices continue to expand daily, IoT is also expected to generate large amounts of data from diverse locations that will be needed to be aggregated very quickly, thereby increasing the need to better index, store and process such data.
9-1-1 centers are now getting data from sources such as traffic and surveillance cameras, texts, photos and personal video, making it more and more susceptible to viruses, hacks and denial of service. Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS) is a growing threat, as hackers can seize control of one of more trunks or flood the system with too many calls, stopping the receipt of emergency calls.
Public disasters resulting from hacks of train crossing signals or traffic lights could occur. These cameras, crossing signals and traffic lights operate via IP in order to ensure that technologies using multiple protocols can transmit data to each other and to the machines and people monitoring them. This flexibility makes them vulnerable.
NG9-1-1 and the TFOPA Cyber Security Guidelines
Implementing Next Generation 9-1-1 includes the Emergency Services IP Network (“ESInet”) that will provide the means to receive and send data from the different kinds of IoT devices that can and will connect to a PSAP. As described in the Task Force on Optimal PSAP Architecture (”TFOPA”) Optimal Cybersecurity Approach for PSAPs Report on cyber security,
“As Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) 9-1-1 networks transition from TDM-based to IP-based, architecture, as part of the migration to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1), they will face increasing exposure to cyber threats and vulnerabilities that did not exist in the legacy 9-1-1 environment. Cyber risk management strategies are being developed for the communications sector that will benefit the NG9-1-1 ecosystem as a whole”.
National efforts similar to TFOPA initiative by the FCC are needed to guide this transition and its many challenges.
Winbourne Consulting provides Subject Matter Expertise to support the procurement of key technologies in support of Ada County’s move into its new Dispatch Center. Ada County is completing construction of its new Dispatch Center, and plans to move its PSAP operations to the new facility in 2017. The County will need a number of new technology solutions at the facility and has tasked Winbourne Consulting to help it develop Statements of Work (SOW’s) for 4 of the necessary technologies. These include:
Winbourne Consulting is assisting the Arlington County Fire Department in the procurement, evaluation and selection of a vendor for a new Fire Records Management and electronic patient care system. Winbourne will work directly with the Arlington County Fire Department to develop business and technical requirements and specifications, an evaluation model, vendor selection assistance, and contract negotiations.
Winbourne Consulting Supports the City of Mesa as it sets up its new facility for Fire Dispatch and Emergency Management. The City of Mesa recently purchased a facility that it will transform into a new Regional Dispatch Center for Fire. The facility will also house the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Winbourne Consulting is working with the Lead Architect, HDA and will design the technology infrastructure, (including cabling, the data center and network distribution) as well as Audio Visual Systems and Security. The move-in date is targeted for the first half of 2017.
40th LEIM Conference • Dallas, Texas • May 24-26, 2016
The LEIM Section of IACP has hosted the annual Law Enforcement Information Management (LEIM) Conference since April 1977. Now in its 40th year, LEIM conferences provide training, professional development, and a national forum for law enforcement executives, operational managers, and technology and research staff to share best practices and lessons learned on a broad array of new and emerging technologies. A Call for Presentations will open shortly for the 40th Annual LEIM Training Conference & Technology Exposition, which will convene in Dallas, Texas on May 23-25, 2016. More information can be found here.
APCO’s 2016 Broadband Summit • May 16-17 in Washington, DC.
The annual event provides a forum for technology experts, policy leaders, industry partners, wireless service providers, and public safety professionals to discuss timely issues affecting the deployment of the FirstNet nationwide public safety broadband network.
At NENA 2016, you will not only hear about the public safety issues of today and tomorrow, but also gain practical, real-world know-how that you can take home with you and put into action immediately. You will be connected to the pulse of 9-1-1, joining thousands of public safety professionals, telecommunications specialists, and policymakers for a week filled with opportunities to discuss the issues facing public safety and build the skills necessary to tackle these challenges head on.
Featuring inspiring keynote speakers, more than one hundred hours of breakout sessions that inform and empower, career-building courses and workshops with real-world applications, nightly networking events that help you make the right connections, and an Expo Hall showcasing cutting-edge products and services, NENA 2016 is the must-attend event of the year. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of it!
Articles of Interest
Fire-code Proposals Call for In-building Coverage for Public Safety
Several fire-code proposals designed to support in-building LMR and LTE coverage for public-safety users recently received favorable recommendations. “What we’re pushing for is in-building communications for public safety, whether they use FirstNet, whether they use 700/800, VHF or UHF,” Perdue said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.
Hazard and Vulnerability Analysis” Document Available for Public Review & Comment
NENA Hazard and Vulnerability Analysis Information Document, NENA-INF-019.2-201X (originally 53-501, 03/27/2007)(DRAFT) is available for Public Review and Comment. This document is provided to assist Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and 9-1-1 Authorities with the development of a risk mitigation plan that includes Resource Analysis, the first step in completing Hazard and Vulnerability Analyses. These analyses are essentially audits that provide planning tools to identify, prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from incidents that have the potential to adversely affect the PSAPs ability to perform its critical functions. Every PSAP is unique and this document should be used as a starting point in disaster planning.
See the full document and its Executive Summary for further detail.
EENA Partners with Drone Supplier for Emergency Response Trials
DJI and the European Emergency Number Association announced a partnership to seek ways to integrate the use of drones into first-response missions. During the next year, the world’s leading aerial-platform maker and EENA expect to gain deeper understanding of how aerial technology best adds value to emergency-service providers in different scenarios, environments and conditions. EENA and DJI will share insights and best practices with the broader international emergency-response community to promote the safe integration of drones in emergency situations.