As public safety professionals from throughout the U.S. converged on the nation’s capital for the fourth annual 9-1-1 Goes to Washington, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) announced the release of Next Generation 9-1-1: Responding to an Urgent Need for Change. The document summarizes the initial findings and recommendations of NENA’s NG E9-1-1 Program and graphically describes the blueprint for a new “system of systems” to serve 9-1-1 and emergency communications into the future.

“The 9-1-1 system of today has been stretched to its limit due to the advancement of modern communications technology, and is ill-equipped to handle calls from, and take advantage of, new and future communications technologies,” says Dr. Robert Cobb, NG E9-1-1 Program Manager. “The recommendations in this report will have far-reaching implications not just for 9-1-1 but for all of emergency communications. Emerging technology is presenting us with tremendous challenges, but also opportunities to have a system that can respond to calls for help—anytime, anywhere, and with any device.”

NENA formed the NG E9-1-1 Program as a public-private partnership to improve the nation’s 9-1-1 system and to establish a cohesive vision between technology providers and public safety stakeholders. Their goal has been to address the critical need for an IP-enabled Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) system, one that adapts rapidly to new technology and supports new communications devices such as text messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

In 2006 NENA will continue its push for the development and enabling of a next generation 9-1-1 and emergency communications system.

Visit www.nena.org for an electronic copy of the NG E9-1-1 report and for additional information on the 2006 NG E9-1-1 program.

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