Being “Smart” about NG9-1-1 Accessibility
When looking at the new world of NG9-1-1, what will accessibility mean for first responders, at-risk citizens and accident victims? As we know, public safety technology has yet to meet the demands of the communities it is meant to serve. While initiating a voice call is currently the fastest means to request help, there are situations and populations where using one’s voice is not possible, or sufficient.
With today’s “smart” technologies, a city’s NG9-1-1 Emergency Services will certainly be able to enhance the safety of all residents and visitors, while transforming the delivery of services by First Responders. A fundamental result of this transformation will be an expansion of access to emergency services across multiple platforms and devices to better serve all citizens. How? Take a look at how NG9-1-1 capabilities can use high definition video streams from a multi-vehicle collision to expedite emergency response.
The City of the Future
NG9-1-1 calls, with multimedia streaming audio and video, can now be received by the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in real time. The PSAP is a fully integrated, broadband-based, multimedia-capable command, control, and communications center. In its legacy version, the PSAP was limited by technology and less integrated with both the public and responders. Now, PSAPs around the country represent the “nerve center” of emergency response and serve multiple roles from integrated intelligence gathering to shared cybersecurity, communications, and incident management capabilities.
The PSAP is initially contacted by a vehicle using Advanced Automatic Collision Notification (AACN), a vehicle in which all occupants of the reporting vehicle are incapacitated.
Through the use of sensors, vehicle telemetry systems like AACN send crash data to a smart onboard system such as GM OnStar. Data from this includes information about crash severity, the direction of impact, air bag deployment, multiple impacts, and rollovers. This information is relayed to emergency dispatchers, helping them to quickly determine the appropriate combination of emergency personnel, equipment, and medical facilities.
Additional geo-tagged information received by the PSAP indicates the incident is located just inside the city limits. An orbiting public safety unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) immediately shifts course, and begins obtaining live video of the scene. The video from the UAV, in conjunction with video and audio live from callers at the scene, conclusively show eight vehicles involved in the incident, including a tractor-tanker with a four sided, diamond shaped red placard clearly affixed onboard. The placard has the number “1203” printed in white letters in the middle, with a smaller number “3” underneath.
Along with a visual of the placard received from multiple sources over broadband-enabled networks, the fully integrated CAD system performs a simultaneous lookup of the placard and presents both the video information and the listing of the United Nations Hazardous Material (UN HAZMAT) code definition. The information indicates that this placard represents a Class 3 flammable liquid. In this specific case, based on the numbers “1203,” the liquid is gasoline.
The dispatch system makes immediate resource and dispatch recommendations to the PST, along with recommending tasking the UAV with orders for a new set of video information based on wind speed and direction also provided via broadband information services directly linked to the PSAP systems. Additionally, based on ground, airborne, and satellite imagery and audio streamed directly to the PSAP, the NG9-1-1 center’s systems determine there are at least two Level 2 trauma patients and one Level 1 trauma patient at the scene. Per local protocols, three airborne medical evacuation helicopters are dispatched at the push of a button by the tactical PST 6. The PSAP also dispatches units, including specialty resources such as HAZMAT technicians, from multiple jurisdictions.
Despite the disparity of devices and software used by the various agencies, all PSAPs and responding units including law enforcement, fire/rescue, and EMS agencies begin receiving real-time feeds of audio and video data via from the host PSAP. This is FirstNet and NG9-1-1 in action!
Addressing Citizen Needs
Today, individuals who cannot easily communicate over the phone face significant obstacles – all too often during life-threatening circumstances - when attempting to call 9-1-1. Key NG9-1-1 capabilities will facilitate the delivery of multi-media and data communications to a wide range of devices, enabling a broad array of services driven by the capture, delivery, and utilization of information. NG9-1-1 will eliminate the days of reliance on outdated services such as TTY. Next-generation information technologies, enabled by a ubiquitous high-speed broadband IP network, will increase the effectiveness of First Responders and provide accessibility and increased safety to all those they serve to protect.