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.
Why NG911 and FirstNet Need to Interoperate . . .
and Will They?
A broadband (IP) 9-1-1 network, commonly referred to as Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911), will greatly increase the speed and capacity for citizens’ emergency calls for service, as well as the ability for video, and data to be delivered to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). FirstNet will also be a broadband network, transmitting video and digital photos, text and messaging out to First Responders in the field. These complementary systems, interconnecting at the PSAP, will ensure a seamless flow of information from the public, to the PSAP, and out to the first responders.
According to the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), in their NG911 and FirstNet High-Level Overview of Systems and Functionality report published in June 2015, “. . . information [received via NG911] may be pushed (via CAD) from the PSAP to the First Responders. . . Standards work is ongoing to ensure that these separate networks [NG911 and FirstNet] can communicate with each other.” And while standards will ensure the interoperability of these two parallel systems, this integration work has barely begun.
Information received from citizens will be delivered via NG911-defined interfaces, and output will be in an NG911 format. However, what functions does the FirstNet network need to perform to accept these standard formats? Will the outputs of NG911 need to be defined? Part of the challenge, at a high level, is that protocols on how digital information will be retrieved from the ESInet and integrated into CAD systems for transmittal to end-users via FirstNet have not yet been addressed. It is still unclear to how to bridge this gap in the capability and planning for the integration between NG911 and FirstNet.
Some related work is underway. NENA and APCO are committed to developing standards for 911 incident data exchange. The Emergency Incident Data Document (EIDD) is being created to share emergency incident information between and among authorized entities and systems. And while this is an important step in managing data sharing across networks, this will only address the need for sharing external data, such as health records and blueprints, not data that is received as part of an NG911 call.
Dr. Walt Magnussen, the Director of Texas A&M’s Internet Technology Evaluation Center, hosted the Public Safety Broadband Applications Workshop, on November 15-17, 2016. This event was an opportunity for industry partners to test their FirstNet devices and applications in a real world environment; a specific topic on the agenda was NG911 and FirstNet integration. According to Dr. Magnussen, this topic generated a lengthy discussion, with the consensus that there remains much to do to fill this “black hole” between NG911 and FirstNet. There appears to be no clear understanding as to how the integration issue will be addressed and which organization will take the lead in the effort.
Within the FirstNet community, there is agreement that this provides an opportunity to discuss the importance 911 plays in providing valuable data to first responders in the field. It is recognized that both the technical issues (NG911/FirstNet interoperability) as well as the operational issues (PSAP policies, and the impact of additional data on the call takers) should be considered.
For example, in a few regions of the country, all three elements of an NG911 system are being deployed [GIS, call handling, and ESInet]. When the FirstNet network is deployed in one region, the PSAP will potentially be in a position to distribute 911 incident data, i.e. video from a home security system or video from a traffic camera, to officers in the field using the anticipated greater bandwidth of FirstNet. However, it is recognized in the 911 community that there are potential integration issues with moving data from the NG911 network to the FirstNet network.
Recently, the Coordinator of the National 911 program, Laurie Flaherty, has suggested that her office would be willing to convene a forum in early 2017 to further this conversation among the stakeholders. For more information, visit www.911.gov or contact Laurie at email@example.com or (202) 366-2705.
We are at an important crossroads with NG911 and FirstNet - two complementary public safety networks. The possibilities are immense, as is the positive impact on citizen and first responder safety. Let the conversations continue!
For further information: FirstNet:
EEID document: https://www.nena.org/?EIDD
Winbourne Consulting is assisting the City of Upland, CA in assessing options to improve their PSAP and CAD system operations and potentially achieve reduced operating costs. Our responsibilities include performing a detailed needs assessment of the alignment of their strategic operational priorities and current technology to determine possible available options, to include procure a new CAD system via the standard RFP process; procure a new CAD system by leveraging another contract options; outsource PSAP operations; or merge PSAP operations with an allied agency and share costs. As part of the assessment we will perform a cost assessment, develop estimated timelines, and resources impact.
Winbourne Consulting is assisting the City of Virginia Beach, VA in replacing their legacy Fire RMS application. Our responsibilities include documenting and validating associated business requirements and specifications, and developing organizational operational business processes models and process flow diagrams. We will also assist the City in procuring a new Fire RMS system, to include evaluation and vendor negotiations support. Finally, we will assist the City in implementing the selected system by providing program management and business analysis assistance to the installation, configuration, test, training and go-live phases of the project.
FirstNet officials announced the opening of the FirstNet Innovation and Test Lab at the organization’s technical headquarters in Boulder, Colo., where equipment and other solutions can be tested and evaluated before being deployed on the nationwide public-safety broadband network. FirstNet Chief Technology Officer Jeff Bratcher described the type of work that will be conducted in the new facility, which already is equipped to validate gear and solutions proposed for use by First Net’s nationwide contractor. “The FirstNet staff all understands that, when first responders are racing to help in disasters and emergencies, they need the communications tools that are tested and proven to work,” Bratcher said.
For additional information visit: FirstNet announces opening of laboratory to test public-safety solutions.
February 21-24 • Arlington, VA
9-1-1 Goes To Washington is a dynamic forum with educational sessions, keynote speeches and outreach on today's most critical 9-1-1 and emergency communications policy issues. Attendees hear directly from policy makers, Members of Congress, FCC Commissioners and Administration officials and represent their state in meetings on Capitol Hill.
February 28-March 1 • Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Emerging Technology Forum is a two-day event created to meet the needs of public safety communications professionals who want an overview of technologies that are on the horizon.
Articles of Interest
Standard for 9-1-1 National Address Database Released
The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions released a new standard, titled Location Accuracy Improvements for Emergency Calls, which defines the architecture and requirements for buildout of the 9-1-1 National Emergency Address Database, as well as how information in the database will be processed. NEAD will store information related to the location of Wi-Fi access points and Bluetooth beacons in an effort to provide dispatchable location information to public-safety officials.
More Resilient 911 With Broadband Satellite
An emergency or disaster is no time to discover that a critical communications network has gone down. That’s why the Ark-Tex Council of Governments added resiliency to its regional 911 network with a broadband satellite solution. ATCOG oversees the 911 system in nine counties across northeast Texas and one in southwest Arkansas. The region’s 12 public safety answering points are served by T1 lines. ATCOG worked with Hughes and AT&T to create a site-to-site satellite backup network that provides an alternate communication path should primary terrestrial or cellular network outages occur.
APCO Partners With DHS to Advance Interoperability and Security of Mobile Apps
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate have announced a partnership to improve mobile apps for the public safety community. Mobile apps hold great promise for improving public safety and emergency response, but they must meet the interoperability, reliability, and security requirements of public safety. APCO has also been working with partners in the public and private sectors to identify public safety’s requirements and test apps for certain performance criteria.
Michigan Deploys 9-1-1 Profile Service from Rave Mobile Safety
Michigan announced a statewide initiative to make Smart911 from Rave Mobile Safety available to all residents. The software facilitates data and communications in the event of a 9-1-1 call. With Smart911, Michiganders can create an extensive online profile, which displays to dispatchers when a 9-1-1 call is made. Critical information such as home address, bedroom location, pet information, medical details and whether households include older people with dementia or children with autism can all be provided and can improve response. DHS Partners with Public TV Stations for Datacasting