A new pact among public-safety organizations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe will accelerate innovation in the three-digit emergency-communications systems that serve almost 1 billion citizens.
The alliance will promote standards-based Next Generation emergency-communications frameworks such as the ones enabled by the i3 standard for NG9-1-1 in North America and the NG1-1-2 standard in Europe. Under both frameworks, requests for emergency help are handled in a modern, Internet Protocol-based multimedia environment, as opposed to the voice- and landline-centric frameworks of the past.
Some additional activities planned under the pact include wider dialogue and collaboration in standards development; greater participation in each other’s events; and increased sharing of research findings, training materials, and case studies that can help improve the health, wellness, and performance of emergency-communications professionals no matter which continent they work on. Further, the group hopes to serve as a facilitator for new technologies and services that can improve public safety on a global scale.
The international alliance was initiated by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA). NENA’s CEO Brian Fontes said the new pact effectively creates a much larger market for those who want to build standards-compliant Next Generation systems, and the signatories are working to bring even more organizations into the consortium.
“A larger market attracts more vendors, technical talent, and competition – and greater competition leads to more innovation and lower prices – all of which accelerates the adoption of Next Generation services that ultimately benefit not just dispatchers or those in need of emergency assistance, but also field responders and taxpayers.
“From Los Angeles to Boston, Vancouver to Halifax, and London to Zagreb, people expect that their calls (and texts and video chats) for help will be handled promptly and professionally, and that the resulting response will be aided by the latest technology. That’s exactly what NENA and our partner organizations are working to achieve under this landmark agreement.”