FOREST HILL, MARYLAND – Last week a new Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) coalition was announced. It consists of three national organizations that have called on the nation to “accelerate the implementation of NG911 services by the end of 2020.” The new coalition is the NG911 NOW Coalition, and it includes the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA), the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT), and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).
Today, Chris Diller, President of the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), is announcing NSGIC’s full support for the coalition’s position. When fully implemented, NG911 will modernize our 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs or Call Centers) across the nation by upgrading the infrastructure from analog-based systems to Internet Protocol (IP) based technology that will support a whole host of new capabilities.
One of the key capabilities of NG911 will be the utilization of improved location information delivered with each 9-1-1 call to ensure it is routed to the correct PSAP and that first responders are then dispatched to the correct location. Accurate spatial data that is seamless between jurisdictions is integral to this capability. Of particular interest to NSGIC and its membership is the need for the coordinated development of complete, current and consistent spatial data for roads, addresses and response zone boundaries for use by local government.
While the implementation of NG911 by 2020 will be a challenge, it is one that NSGIC welcomes and is consistent with NSGIC’s advocacy for the creation of national spatial data programs that leverage GIS activities of state and local government. Diller noted that “NG911 may be the most important use case for building a National Address Database and an Intelligent Roadway network, and other map data assets that work nationwide, independent of jurisdictional boundaries.”
This move to a nationwide interconnected NG911 system will require the integration of robust GIS datasets produced at the state and local levels and will require the creation of data governance policies and procedures to ensure data available to the NG911 system is both current and accurate.