When an emergency strikes, you pick up the phone and call 911. A helpful call taker confirms your address, gets the details of the emergency, and help arrives within minutes. Sounds simple, right?
If you’re dialing 911 from your office, a hotel or a remotely connected softphone, that simple interaction may actually be a pretty complex transaction. It requires multiple systems to integrate and communicate to get you the help you need. West supports the journey of a 911 call from start to finish. Read on to find out what happens behind the scenes and learn about the technologies that enable enterprise 911.
Dialing a 911 Call
Since the first 911 call was made in 1968, it’s become second nature to dial those three digits in a crisis. E911 technology, which enables a 911 caller’s location to automatically display on the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) call taker’s screen, has also been broadly adopted across North America.
However, the advent of IP telephony, and the proliferation of IP-enabled communications systems throughout enterprises, has complicated the ability for accurate locations to automatically display on a call taker’s screen. Because the call now egresses the enterprise network from a centralized data center rather than a local trunk, the call is inadvertently delivered to the PSAP serving the data center and displays the enterprise main billing address, rather than going to the PSAP serving the caller’s true location, with the caller’s actual geographic coordinates.
To address these scenarios, technologies like West’s enterprise 911 solution have emerged. This solution allows enterprises to identify precisely where a 911 caller is coming from, whether at headquarters, a branch office, or even off site, and determine where the call and caller data should be delivered. This is the first touch West has on a 911 call.
Delivering a 911 Call
Once West’s enterprise 911 call routing solution determines where the emergency call should be delivered, it integrates with the call routing network to send the call to the correct PSAP. The PSAP either receives the caller’s location directly from a West-built NG911 network, or queries West’s national 911 location database to reference the caller’s location.
West’s journey with the 911 call doesn’t end with call delivery. Within the PSAPs, the call takers use advanced dispatching systems to receive the caller’s location and engage the right public safety responders. West’s PSAP dispatch systems are deployed in PSAPs across North America, enabling call takers to leverage the critical call handling features necessary for an effective emergency response.
The Importance of a Full-Spectrum Approach to 911
West’s end-to-end approach to 911 gives enterprises several key advantages in an emergency. First, our team of 1100+ emergency services employees is comprised of experts who understand the full spectrum of 911. We know what data the PSAP call takers need, how the 911 networks work, and how to get that data through from the caller to the call taker. Secondly, because of our network strength and breadth of experience, we support 911 for many of the largest carriers and enterprises in North America today.
Whether you need to enable 911 for a small mom-and-pop operation or a Fortune 100 company, you can rest assured that West has field-tested and proven solutions, backed by robust technologies and comprehensive networks. Finally, West’s mission to deliver technology-enabled communications across the enterprise ensures that we understand the myriad communication challenges facing your organization, and can take a holistic approach to 911. Our emergency solutions will not compromise your ability to empower your teams with the most advanced UC capabilities, and conversely, our UC technologies are deployed with 911 in mind.
If you realize that a 911 call placed from your organization might not route correctly or lacks accurate location information, don’t settle for an incomplete solution and risk the safety of your users. Trust West’s depth and volume of experience to deliver the robust support your organization requires. We’ll also be at Cisco Live 2018 so make sure to come by our booth to find out how our solutions can integrate with your environment.