CAPCOG's Emergency Communications Department works with agencies throughout the 10 county region by providing planning and technical assistance to ensure delivery of 9-1-1 calls to the proper Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and with the correct location and telephone information. The Commission on State Emergency Communications is the state agency that oversees the 9-1-1 Program. The 9-1-1 Program is funded from the $.50 fee on each telephone line reflected on an individual's telephone bill (i.e. wireline, wireless and VoIP).
911 Technology and Database Maintenance
Ever evolving 911 technologies bring constant change to the 9-1-1 environment. Up until a few years ago, there was one way to reach 9-1-1; dial 9-1-1 from your landline phone. Today, with technology and communication options exploding, the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, today's devices all interface with the 9-1-1 system differently. It is important for the consumer to understand how each communication device interacts with 9-1-1 in different situations, if it does at all. Talk to your service provider or a CAPCOG staff member for more information.
CAPCOG provides funds to each of its 10 counties to assist with 911 database maintenance and employing a County 9-1-1 Addressing Coordinator. CAPCOG staff works with each of these coordinators to manage and update the 9-1-1 Database.
911 Training and Public Education
CAPCOG provides training and public education to PSAP employees as well as the general public. Training on the use of the 9-1-1 equipment in place at the PSAP and Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) are two of the required training sessions. In addition, State of Texas mandated certification courses are offered several times each year as are other non-required courses. CAPCOG maintains a fully functional training PSAP that is used to train call-takers throughout the region. The training PSAP can be quickly transitioned to serve as a 9-1-1 backup facility in an emergency situation.
Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP, is a technology that transports voice as digital information over the internet. VoIP technology has unique features that make it very attractive to users. VoIP technology is usually less expensive to subscribers than traditional wired telephone service. In some cases, VoIP offers users mobility, or the ability to "take the service" with them.
In general, over 75% of today’s 9-1-1 calls in the CAPCOG region come from wireless telephones. Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in the CAPCOG region have the ability to locate a wireless 9-1-1 caller and display their location on a map. The technology to locate callers is not always available due to environmental factors beyond the control of the PSAP. It is always best to know your location and be prepared to provide your location when asked by 9-1-1.