I hate blogging. To me, the word “blogosphere” conjures an image that would upset Al Gore. Potential psychological rehab aside, I can’t resist – yes, I have something to say.We are standing at the precipice of wholesale change in the way earthlings communicate. The world is witnessing incredible and exciting technological and operational convergence in the commercial communications world. As 9-1-1 professionals, we must remind ourselves that emergency communications is not exempt from the good or the bad of this tectonic shift. For many years, the 9-1-1 community has enjoyed incredible autonomy. But those days appear to be numbered.
The latest convergence technologies suggest that we now play a more integrated role in the lifecycle of incident reporting and response. Developments in computing would suggest that desktops in the PSAP should support fewer processors and monitors, not more. Backroom equipment is seeing less “dedicated” rack space and more integration – even consolidation – of 9-1-1 and related consumer apps. We may be the rocket scientists of our little world, but getting today’s payload delivered requires more cooperation than it used to. And by the way, defining and creating specs for that payload and its various piece parts will require a great deal of talent.
Don’t take this as a minimization of 9-1-1 expertise – au contraire! Even the neurosurgeon must work closely with anesthesiology, cardiology, radiology, internal medicine and the entire nursing team. Just as the lion shall lay down with the lamb, the CAD guys, the radio geeks, the call routing gang and the ANI/ALI nerds should recognize that sharing Happy Hour every once in a while could turn into some real Martha Stewart moments: “it’s a good thing”. More than ever, we need to be thinking in global terms with emphasis on how our roles and responsibilities contribute to the success of the larger mission. My money is on the collective intellect.
IP technology, harnessed intelligently, should offer us more opportunities than it brings in challenges. But don’t take it from me – I hate blogging. God forbid you ever find me doing it. I just think that perhaps we should spend a bit more time researching creative partnerships and developing new friendships. After all, it’s all part of our mutual stewardship.
By John Melcher, President and CEO – The Melcher Group