Data Integration Modernizes National 9-1-1 Call Center Directory

9-1-1 calls are usually routed to the nearest emergency communications center, but when they aren’t, 9-1-1 specialists rely on a particular database of call centers to reroute callers to the proper location.

The National Emergency Numbers Association (NENA) and emergency technology company GeoComm this week announced the development of the new Enhanced Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Registry and Census (EPRC), a secure web-based tool containing essential information for 9-1-1 centers throughout the United States. The NENA EPRC, made possible through a sponsorship from Uber, will replace and improve upon NENA’s current PSAP Registry, which is a basic database of the contact information for every 9-1-1 center in the nation.

Through a web-based interface, 9-1-1 specialists will be able to search the PSAP Registry and Census using a landmark, address, community, or by clicking an interactive map. Like the legacy PSAP registry, county PSAPs may access the ERRC free of charge.

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According to a press release:

Over 20 years ago, NENA built the original PSAP Registry to ensure that PSAPs and commercial call centers can deliver requests for service to the proper 9-1-1 center in cases when a 9-1-1 call does not arrive at the appropriate PSAP, such as when an out-of-state family member dials 9-1-1 on behalf of a relative. In cases like these, the PSAP registry provides the priority answer ten-digit phone number of the agency that needs to be notified. However, the legacy PSAP registry utilizes a text search based on various data items, such as community name, and does not support modern mapping or context-awareness.

The EPRC brings the NENA PSAP Registry into the 21st Century; in addition to fulfilling its purpose of providing a single authoritative registry of PSAP contact information, the EPRC is also a modern interactive mapping and search tool with expanded data such as back-up phone numbers, PSAP capability information, PSAP service areas, and more. Using a modern mapping interface, users can search for PSAP information using a landmark, community name or address, or simply by clicking on the map viewer. Additionally, the platform provides a robust Application Programming Interface (API) to make EPRC data available to approved third-party public safety applications.

“This new system provides a secure, scalable, GIS-based platform for hosting the NENA EPRC database,” said John Brosowsky, Vice President of Innovation at GeoComm. “One of the key improvements over the current PSAP registry is the addition of a map, making it possible for 9-1-1 personnel to visually search any location in the country to identify PSAP contact information for that location.”

“NENA is excited to expand and improve upon its current PSAP registry, and we’re pleased to partner with GeoComm and Uber in this effort,” said Brian Fontes, CEO of NENA. “This improved database will help dispatchers serve the public better by providing fast, convenient, reliable access to important 9-1-1 information.”

“At Uber, we believe technology can make travel safer than ever before. That is why we have been working with 9-1-1 centers across the country to make Uber trip data available to dispatchers electronically and support the modernization of the PSAP directory. We are proud to partner with NENA on this effort because we know in an emergency, when every second counts, accurate location information is crucial.” — Mike Sullivan, Head of Global Law Enforcement Operations.

The EPRC will be available to PSAPs nationwide in summer 2019. For more information about the EPRC, visit eprc.nena.org.

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