Across Canada, the public safety 9-1-1 community is facing a critical, pivotal moment in its history. The existing 9-1-1 system was designed in an era of landline telephones and assumes the calls are coming from fixed, known addresses. Today, most emergency calls originate from smartphones and IP devices, often while away from home. As a result, these changes are driving this historic evolution to next-generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1).
- NG9-1-1 will leverage 9-1-1 specific application functionality on an Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet) to add speed, redundancy and security to the telecommunications system, thereby supporting national internetworking of 9-1-1 services.
- NG9-1-1 will enhance the safety of the Canadian public by allowing the use of new media and data for reporting emergencies and events; for example, streaming video from an emergency incident, sending photos of accident damage or of a fleeing suspect, or sending personal medical information–such information could greatly aid emergency responders and provide for greater situational awareness.
- The success of NG9-1-1 will be heavily dependent on authoritative GIS data and services to enable more efficacy in geospatial call routing, thereby helping to reduce emergency response times and save more lives and property–a primary goal of emergency responders and public safety management and stakeholders.
- The CRTC has mandated NG9-1-1 networks must be ready to deliver NG9-1-1 voice services by June 2020 and deliver all NG9-1-1 text messaging services by December 2020 with additional services to be added over time. Furthermore, the current analog 9-1-1 network is to be decommissioned beginning June 2023.
Why is NG9-1-1 Happening?
The CRTC has mandated the modernization of 9-1-1 networks by June 2020. Emergency communications need to tap into current trends of location-enabled voice, text, photo, video or sensor-based messaging.
GIS is Mission Critical
The coordinates of a mobile device will be used to route the call to the correct Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). The coordinates of the call will be overlaid with the PSAP boundaries. To work properly, accurate and up-to-date GIS data is critical.
What Needs to be Accomplished?
Timely aggregation of authoritative (local government) GIS data for NG9-1-1 is required to provide high accuracy address location verification, call routing, resource allocation and analysis capabilities.
Powering Public Safety
The effectiveness of the NG9-1-1 system will be dependent on the GIS data it uses. What is required is a rapid update system that can consume and aggregate GIS data, built from authoritative sources which meet public safety (NENA) standards.
Together with the national Emergency Systems Working Group (ESWG), Esri Canada has been engaged in developing this data model and standards specification; it is currently assisting organizations with their management processes with respect to civic addressing standards, data governance and NG9-1-1 strategic planning.
Further, Esri Canada’s team of GIS, transportation, municipal and public safety subject matter experts can perform data gap analysis, technical compliance assessment, QA/QC and staff training for organizations to get on the road to NG9-1-1.
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