KEARNEY — The technology that transmitted the first 911 calls to dispatchers could barely help victims help themselves.
However, with advances in technology, the 911 calls of tomorrow will have all the characteristics of how people communicate today and will share data through mobile and digital devices.
This means that dialing 911 will allow people on both ends of the call to share richer and more detailed data, such as videos, images and texts with 911 call centers.
Today at the Kearney/Buffalo County Law Enforcement Center, some of the Nebraskanians playing critical roles in implementing NextGen 911 paused to celebrate their accomplishments and talk about their progress.
One of the NextGen 911 campaign leaders, Buffalo County Sheriff Neil Miller, said the state’s most significant advances are occurring in what’s called the Security Response Point region. South Central/Panhandle Public Service (PSAP).
“It’s an exciting day for 911 in Nebraska,” Miller said. “These dispatchers are going to see live video of the scene. That’s the kind of stuff we’re going to do. »
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Miller chairs the Nebraska 911 Service System Advisory Committee. “We transitioned our first PSAP region from the current old copper wire 911 system to the new NextGen 911 or ESInet emergency services network.”
This means, Miller said, that by connecting PSAPs in the South Central/Panhandle region to the ESI network, the state has established the foundations for NextGen 911.
The technology improves dispatchers’ ability to receive 911 calls from mobile phones and devices, as well as receive faster and more accurate text messages and caller location information.
Once NextGen 911 is implemented, emergency service providers will derive greater benefit from FirstNet. NextGen 911 allows the public to send important data to call centers and empowers EMS professionals to make critical decisions because they have access to such rich data.
NextGen 911 is already being upgraded in many communities.
Implementation of NextGen 911 varies nationwide. Some states haven’t started planning, but others, including Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and Indiana, have completed the initial transition to NextGen 911.
Twenty of the 22 PSAPs in the South Central/Panhandle region now receive calls over a secure IP network – the backbone of NextGen 911 services.
“The last two PSAPs in our region will be joining us in the coming weeks,” Miller said. “As we continue the implementation process, we will add additional NextGen 911 services to geospatial call routing, images and video. These services are not yet available, but will be integrated into the system as we continue to expand the network across the state. »
Miller said the plan is to connect all PSAP regions to ESInet by the end of 2022.
“We are excited about this first big step and look forward to sharing additional information with you as we bring more Nebraska PSAPs online and add additional NextGen 911 services,” he said.