At the MACo Winter Conference special session, Next Gen 911: What It Means For Purchasers, PSAPs & Purse Strings, State and local experts provided a thorough overview of the anticipated costs and procurement opportunities accompanying the requirement for county call centers to advance to Next Generation 9-1-1.
Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) issues are of top concern for county governments officials seeking to improve and enhance their handling of emergency calls from cell phone users. New technologies will increase response times, location accuracy, and allow traditional callers to text and send photo and video data directly to first responders.
As Maryland and its counties move toward implementing an NG911 network, one key issue that must be addressed is how to fill the void left by Verizon and its vast communication infrastructure. And, while the technology to implement NG911 is available now, there are many issues that local governments must work through, including uniform specifications, the process of transition, governance, and funding.
At the presentation, Scott Roper, Executive Director of the Emergency Number Systems Board provided introductory remarks, followed by his office’s consultant, Walt Kaplan, MPH, Enterprise Client Manager, Mission Critical Partners, Inc. Ross Coates, Harford County Government Public Safety Manager rounded out the presentation by offering the local government perspective, providing observations informed by his county’s procurement officer and fiscal experts. The Honorable Cheryl Kagan, State Senator with a vested, proven interested in NG911 issues, enthusiastically moderated the panel.