Operations & Training
Over 6,000 primary and secondary public safety answering points (PSAPs) nationwide are staffed by call-takers, dispatchers, supervisors, technical professionals and others working together to help 911 callers.
IP-enabled 911 will present PSAPs with challenges such as new and different types of real-time multimedia information – text, still images or video in addition to voice; These new types of data (for example, from automated crash-notification systems in automobiles) will expand the functions of the call-taker. They may also increase the workload of call-takers, and change the call-taker’s experience (e.g., seeing an incident versus hearing it). These challenges will require changes in hiring, initial training and continuing education,and training in new technologies as they are introduced.
Similarly, the functions inherent to IP-enabled 911 will influence the way in which PSAP operations and administration are supported, as well as how they coordinate with nearby agencies, share data and resources and solve problems together.
“A National Plan for Migrating to IP-enabled 911 Systems” has identified three options to address barriers related to operational and training issues:
- Prepare and train call-takers and other personnel to handle increased quantity and quality of information available with IP-enabled 911 calls
- Prepare 911 authorities to handle IP-enabled 911 system administration, including configuration management, database management, quality assurance and standard operating procedures
- Prepare 911 authorities and PSAP administrators to handle contingency planning and use of virtual PSAPs