CAPCOG begins search for Next Generation 9-1-1 call-handling equipment
CAPCOG has begun a two-year project to select, procure, and deploy new 9-1-1 call-handling equipment in the 31 Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) in the region. The process, which kicked off in August, will involve input from ECC stakeholders, demonstrations, and selection of the new equipment which will enable movement into Next Generation (NG) 9-1-1.
NG 9-1-1 is an all-IP emergency communications infrastructure enabling voice and multimedia communications between a caller, the ECC, and field responders. NG 9-1-1 will enhance the 9-1-1 system to create a faster, more flexible, resilient, and scalable system that allows ECCs to keep up with communication technology used by the public. Residents will be able to transmit photos, videos and other broadband data to 9-1-1 professionals, as well as make traditional calls or send texts. This could include streaming video from an incident, photos of an accident or fleeing suspect, or medical information, all which can aid 9-1-1 professionals in assisting the caller or field responders and incident commanders.
CAPCOG’s Emergency Communications Division kicked off the project by selecting a consultant to assist with the call-handling equipment’s criteria development, identify equipment vendors, assist with procuring the equipment, and then help transition the call taking stations.
The Strategic Advisory Committee, a technical committee that supports CAPCOG’s emergency communications program, selected a work group to participate in all aspects of the project. The work group includes Lt. Ken Murphy of Austin Police Department, Dawn Adams of Bastrop County, Megan Jones of Hays County, Doni Whitecotton of Llano County; Stacy Marberry of Marble Falls Police Department; Leigh Carrico Round Rock Police Department, Amanda Porter of Travis County Sheriff’s Office.
“With more than 250 9-1-1 consoles in the region to handle calls, this is a large task and a significant upgrade that will improve emergency communications and lessen response times for residents,” said Renee Bell, CAPCOG emergency communications division assistant director and 9-1-1 systems manager. “We want to make sure we are getting everyone involved from our ECCs, because we want to meet their needs whether they are a two-position or a 50-position center.”
Installation will start at CAPCOG’s training center to allow for user acceptance testing of the new system, which will be methodical and rigorous because these systems help save lives, Bell said. When testing is completed, the equipment will be installed across the region leading to the region’s final NG 9-1-1 phase.
Learn more about the Emergency Communications Division.