Your security team can play a vital role during an emergency situation; however, they need to be aware that there is an emergency in the enterprise, the nature of the situation, and its precise location. With West’s Desk Alert solution, you’ll empower your security team with tools that help them to be of assistance in ways that were previously impossible.
By Dave Peck, GIS Director
Earlier this month I attended the NENA 2017 conference in San Antonio, Texas. As always, it was a great event to see old friends in the industry and meet new people doing extraordinary work in public safety.
Throughout my many conversations, four challenges emerged as the most common areas where PSAPs seem to struggle with GIS and its role in Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems.
The common GIS challenges I heard at NENA 2017:
By: Tricia McConnell, Sr. Marketing Communications Manager
On a Friday afternoon in the Emergency Call Relay Center (ECRC) at West, call volume is steady but manageable. A vehicle collides with a bus, which triggers a 9-1-1 call from the car’s telematics system. A registered nurse from a 24-hour hotline reports a caller complaining of chest pains and nausea. The ECRC call takers identify the location and nature of these emergencies then conduct warm transfers by contacting the appropriate public safety answering point (PSAP) and confirming that the dispatcher and caller can communicate before dropping off.
The mood in the room back in October 2012 was significantly more intense. Then, as Hurricane Sandy surged up the east coast, PSAPs in impacted areas struggled to manage the overwhelming 9-1-1 call volume. The ECRC staff and other West employees worked extended shifts and through scheduled days off to help PSAPs respond to incoming 9-1-1 calls.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is one of today’s hot topics in tech. IoT will change how enterprises are built and operate internally. While the concept of having different types of devices interconnect and communicate wirelessly seem futuristic, many enterprises are already incorporating IoT sensor devices into their buildings’ infrastructures. As enterprises deepen their investment in IoT, though, many aren’t aware that they can also leverage it for 9-1-1 to improve emergency situation outcomes.
West commends the New York City Council for the recent passage of the new law, “Requiring direct telephone access to 911 service.” The passage of this law ensures that New Yorkers using multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) in certain businesses and City agencies have easy, direct access to 9-1-1 service in an emergency.
The law is modeled on Kari’s Law, so-named in honor of Kari Hunt whose tragic passing in 2013 alerted the nation to the dangers of requiring a dialing prefix to access 9-1-1. Simply, this new NYC law will allow users of these MLTS to dial 9-1-1 without requiring any prefix, post-fix or trunk access code. In addition to the direct dialing provision, the law also requires that on-site notifications be issued when 9-1-1 is dialed and that calls must be directly delivered to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
West is pleased to announce that its Emergency Gateway (EGW) has achieved ShoreTel TechConnect certification with the latest release of ShoreTel Connect Onsite.
EGW is an on-site appliance that streamlines and optimizes 9-1-1 management, allowing enterprises to maintain accurate and up-to-date data for 9-1-1 purposes, with minimal manual intervention. Previously integrated with ShoreTel ShoreGear, this new certification includes expanded 9-1-1 management functionality for ShoreTel Connect. Read More >
By: Mary Jo Lakhal, Sr. Program Manager
As I mentioned in a previous post, to optimize alarm monitoring center performance, you need AHJ contact data that is highly accurate and available in real time. Of these two attributes, I believe data accuracy is the more difficult to achieve.
I know from experience that even with a dedicated, full-time staff, creating and maintaining an agency contact database is challenging. Frequently, the consolidation of jurisdictions or adjustments to jurisdictional boundaries result in hours of work tracking which subscribers must be assigned to a new agency.
By: Peter White, GISP
One critical component of the transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems is a shift from the use of tabular Master Street Address Guide (MSAG) and ALI data to a reliance on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data for location identification, validation, and call delivery. For agencies that are ready to progress to a GIS-based NG9-1-1 system, the process can seem daunting. Fortunately, West has gained significant experience in helping agencies create and deploy GIS data through our methodical, no-nonsense approach. This process has proven to reduce complexity and the risks associated with this substantial shift in 9-1-1 systems.
By: Mary Jo Lakhal, Sr. Program Manager
As many of you in the security and alarm industry know, West specializes in 9-1-1 technology and solutions for public safety, carriers, companies and educational organizations. In 9-1-1, the accuracy of the data (the caller’s location) and the speed at which that data is delivered to public safety are key to successful emergency outcomes.
Obviously, the faster we can identify where a 9-1-1 caller is, the better. Speed without accuracy sends first responders to the wrong address. Accuracy without speed delays response times and puts lives at risk.
We know this is true in the alarm industry, too—particularly in the monitoring center, where speed and efficiency translates to improved ROI and satisfied subscribers (less churn).