The Emergency Communications Division works with agencies throughout the 10-county Capital Area Emergency Communications District, which oversees and funds the region’s 9-1-1 program. It provides operational planning and technical assistance to ensure 9-1-1 calls reach the right public safety answering point with correct location and telephone information. It also operates a fully equipped training and backup facility for emergency personnel, provides call-taker training classes and supplies public education materials.
Funding for the 9-1-1 program comes from a 50 cent fee on each wireline, wireless and Voice over Internet Protocol telephone line and from a 2 percent fee on each prepaid wireless phone.
9-1-1 Technology and Database Maintenance
Ever evolving 9-1-1 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 9-1-1 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.
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.
Kari’s Law requires Texas businesses and organizations with a multiline telephone system (MTLS) or private branch exchange to provide direct access to 9-1-1 services without callers having to first dial an outside-line prefix. Businesses, schools, hospitals and other organizations that use MLTS’s in their office are responsible for knowing and addressing compliance with the law, but CAPCOG can help those organizations test their compliance and resolve MTLS issues.
Text to 9-1-1
CAPCOG is currently implementing Text to 9-1-1 throughout the 10-county region. Text to 9-1-1 is the ability to send a "short message" (SMS) also known as a text message to a 9-1-1 call center. Texting during an emergency could be helpful if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, or if a voice call might otherwise be dangerous or impossible. Read an FAQ about Text to 9-1-1.
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 percent of today’s 9-1-1 calls in the CAPCOG region come from wireless telephones. 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. Read more about Wireless 9-1-1.