“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”
Each year, an estimated 240 million calls are made to 9-1-1 in the U.S. and in many areas, at least 85% are from wireless devices.1 But what many people may not realize is that while their friends and family can surf the internet on their cell phone or livestream a game on their tablet, only 20% of 9-1-1 call centers – also known as public safety answering points or PSAPs – have the capability to receive basic text messages or pictures from the citizens they serve. Kansas, Kentucky and Texas are leading the way with statewide deployments, and it’s crucial for all PSAPs to become equipped with Next Generation 9-1-1 services. Simply put, NextGen 9-1-1 enables 9-1-1 telecommunicators to connect with callers in a way that best suits how individuals communicate – whether that’s voice, text or data.
But it isn’t just about reaching callers in the best way possible. It’s also about ensuring the appropriate PSAP receives the call so that responders can act quickly. Determining the accurate location of an incident is the first critical step when responding to an emergency. When someone contacts 9-1-1, the person’s location can be identified using AT&T ESInet™ Service’s advanced location services, which helps route the call or text message to the appropriate PSAP based on their location and helps ensure the appropriate first responder is dispatched to the scene.
Crucial information when it matters most
9-1-1 telecommunicators and dispatchers gather and analyze critical information to provide first responders in the field with the best information to improve their response time and overall situational awareness. We’re using a wide variety of technologies to continually improve 9-1-1 communications for communities of all sizes – whether rural, tribal or urban. AT&T’s collaboration with RapidDeploy, Inc. is important as we help PSAPs transform their 9-1-1 solutions to NextGen 9-1-1 cloud-based services. RapidDeploy’s cloud-based technology and near real-time data insights enable dispatchers to become more data-driven as they assist first responders on-the-ground.
Once information is collected, dispatchers can identify and contact the appropriate first responder for the incident and maintain communication throughout the duration of the incident, providing live updates as needed. Ultimately, this allows them to focus on what matters most – saving lives.
Keeping first responders mission-ready
Just as the lights and sirens turn on for public safety to quickly arrive on scene, FirstNet – America’s public safety network – provides the “lights and sirens” treatment for first responder communications. With FirstNet, first responders have truly dedicated coverage and capacity when they need it, unique benefits like always-on priority and preemption, and an entire ecosystem of mission-centric applications and solutions. Today, more than 17,000 public safety agencies and organizations, representing more than 2.5 million connections, are on FirstNet. And as the private-partner behind FirstNet, AT&T is uniquely positioned to equip PSAPs and first responders with an integrated infrastructure that allows them to be more flexible, resilient and agile. For example, we can combine FirstNet with NextGen 9-1-1 systems to provide remote 9-1-1 telecommunicators and dispatchers with highly secure and reliable connectivity back to the PSAPs.
AT&T is at the forefront of providing industry-leading public safety solutions that modernize public safety communications and transform emergency reporting and response. And we’re proud to be leading the way in the U.S. market with our NextGen 9-1-1 solutions, such as AT&T ESInet Service, which currently covers more than 60 million people with modern and reliable capabilities.2
By using a legacy of proven experience and technical know-how in the public safety sector, AT&T has been recognized by Frost & Sullivan with the Market Leadership Award for U.S. NextGen 9-1-1 Services for the 3rd consecutive year. According to Frost & Sullivan’s research, as of the end of 2020, AT&T is the leading NextGen 9-1-1 primary contract holder in the country.
It’s clear, we’ve come a long way in the last 140 years, but we are far from done. In addition to more integration with FirstNet and NextGen 9-1-1, we will continue to explore incorporating AT&T Smart Cities and IoT to create even more efficiency, resiliency and flexibility. We’ll continue to innovate with new technologies that will help the public safety community stay connected to the critical information they need when lives are on the line.
For more about the value FirstNet is bringing to public safety, check out FirstNet.com. And to learn more about AT&T NextGen 9-1-1 services, visit att.com/ng911 or visit us at Booth #923 at NENA 2021 Conference from July 26-27.
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