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July 2014 Winbourne Consulting Newsletter
The Human Side of Text-to-9-1-1
Text-to-9-1-1 is clearly one of the hottest topics for PSAPs and 9-1-1 system managers. Much of the discussion is focused on the technical aspect of providing text-to-9-1-1 services of which there are three solutions available for PSAPs to employ:
2.TTY gateway - Existing 9-1-1 voice circuit
While an NG9-1-1/ESInet infrastructure may be the most optimum solution, a majority of jurisdictions do not have an NG9-1-1 system and/or are many years away from implementing one. The good news is text-to-9-1-1 can be provided using an existing 9-1-1/TTY gateway or an external web browser that is not part of the current 9-1-1 system. While there are pros and cons to each of those options, in reality, technical capability is not the issue. The real question for jurisdictions is “Should they expend the level of effort and cost to provide text-to-9-1-1 services to the citizens they serve prior to the implementation of a NG9-1-1 environment?” We emphasize this question to ensure the technical discussion does not supersede public safety operational objectives. To be clear, the decision to employ a text-to-9-1-1 service is more an operational question than a technical one. Technology should support operations – not the other way around.
The decision to provide text-to-9-1-1 service can have a profound positive impact on a community and thus should be made by a partnership of stakeholders including the PSAP, public safety agencies, appointed and elected officials, organizations that represent persons with disabilities, domestic violence groups and community leaders. A partnership of stakeholders is required for a jurisdiction to obtain an objective assessment regarding the benefits, cost, level of effort and risks that can be derived from employing a text-to-9-1-1 service.
The ability to “call” for life saving assistance should be available to all citizens a PSAP serves. The proliferation of cellular technology, smart phones and text messaging has changed how we define a 9-1-1 “call.” Over 70% of 9-1-1 calls are made from a wireless device and text messaging is a common form of communication. Those that are adamantly against providing a text-to-9-1-1 service argue that talking to a 9-1-1 telecommunicator is the most effective and quickest methodology to collect vital information. While true, they fail to recognize that many people cannot “call” 9-1-1 in all circumstances. Text-to-9-1-1 provides a lifesaving solution for two specific conditions:
1.Persons who are hearing or speech impaired
2.Persons who are incapable of speaking out of fear they will be heard and/or may be harmed if they are detected (i.e., home invasion, occupied burglary, abduction or domestic violence situation)
A public relations campaign to “call if you can talk, text if you can’t” has been successfully employed by many jurisdictions that are already providing text-to-9-1-1 service. There are many myths regarding text-to-9-1-1 including the statement that the PSAP will be overrun with 9-1-1 text messages. It is important for PSAPs considering text-to-9-1-1 to utilize accurate industry information from APCO, NENA, FCC and experienced PSAPs during their assessment.
•Text-to-9-1-1 is a valuable service that can save lives
•The decision to employ a text-to-9-1-1 service should be more an operational decision than a
•A partnership of stakeholders should be employed to assess the benefits, cost, level of effort
and risks to employ a text-to-9-1-1 service
•Leverage PSAP industry material and PSAPs with text-to-9-1-1 experience to obtain the most
accurate and objective information.
New Winbourne Projects
Winbourne Consulting, LLC has been contracted by the City of Columbus, Ohio to prepare options for the operational feasibility of civilianizing and organizationally consolidating the City’s Fire Alarm Office (FAO), and Police Communications Bureau, the Public Service 3-1-1 Service Center, and the Public Safety Neighborhood Camera operations.
Winbourne Consulting was hired by the fourteen counties located within the Southeast Emergency Management Region and the PSAPs serving those counties to compose a request for proposal to PSAP hardware vendors, assist in choosing such vendor and provide project management of the installation of PSAP hardware and infrastructure to serve the Southeast region. The Southeast Nebraska 9-1-1 Board, recognize that advances in technology allow for sharing of hardware, interoperable call taking ability, ease of recovery during and following a natural disaster that may affect a PSAP and redundancy of hardware and communication paths minimizing costs to individual PSAP and to the PSAPs collectively while minimizing the possibility of a single point of failure.
Look for us in Booth 1352 at the upcoming APCO 2014.
Commdex and APCO International Partner for Upcoming Public Safety Conference & Expo to be held at the Gwinnett Convention Center in Atlanta on October 7th, 2014
Alexandria, VA – Commdex and the Association of Public-Safety Officials (APCO) International are partnering this year to bring a premier national event to the metro Atlanta area – the 2014 Next Gen Public Safety Technologies (NGPT) Conference & Expo.
NENA Development Conference
At the NENA Development Conference (formerly TDC/ODC), you have the opportunity to learn, in-depth, about the latest issues facing public safety, collaborate with your peers on documents and standards that will govern the emergency communications landscape of the 21st Century, and contribute to 9-1-1’s long-term ability to overcome (and proactively prevent) the challenges ahead. NDC 2014 is October 5-8 in Orlando, FL.
Articles of Interest
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International released two standards for public review and comment. Candidate APCO ANS 1.116.1-201x, Public Safety Communications Common Status Codes for Data Exchange, will contain a comprehensive list of descriptive terms that can...
Winbourne Consulting provides technology and management consulting services to help government agencies and private sector corporations accomplish their goals. We work on technology, business and operational issues, identify problem areas, and partner with our clients to plan and implement effective solutions.
Ada County, Idaho has selected Winbourne Consulting to provide Project Management Implementation Services...
The City of Los Angeles has awarded Winbourne Consulting the contract to develop the RFP for a CAD to CAD...
Arlington County, Virginia has chosen Winbourne Consulting to assist them in developing a blueprint for migration...
The State of New Jersey has awarded Winbourne Consulting a contract to perform an analysis of...
Washington, DC Location
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Rosslyn, Virginia 22209