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911 Connects

The quarterly newsletter of the National 911 Program, Connects, serves as a channel for sharing important information about efforts at the local, state, national and Federal level to improve emergency communications throughout the nation. The newsletter covers a breadth of topics, from resources developed to help states transition to Next Generation 911 to new protocols and legislation to aid PSAPs.

Issue #15

Published Dec 2023
How Cyber-Resilient is Your 911 Center? Federal Agency Provides No-Cost Guidance
Cybersecurity Awareness Month is the perfect time to assess just how protected your 911 Center is against common threats and breaches.
What We Learned from the GIS Assessment Project
40 seconds is the time it takes to reroute a misdirected 911 call. Learn how the National 911 Program is enhancing GIS data-sharing systems.
A Systems of Systems: Getting CADs to Work Together
You might have heard: "If you’ve seen one CAD, you’ve seen one CAD." With the myriad of CAD systems out there, ensuring seamless interoperability is no small feat.
In Case You Missed It: Recent “State of 911” Webinars & Docs & Tools
Catch up on our 2023 webinars and put our most-accessed documents and tools to use.

Issue #14

Published Apr 2023
One Year In: Highlights in ‘Advancing 911 Across the Nation’
Closing in on his first year as coordinator of the National 911 Program, Brian Tegtmeyer reflects on progress made.
10 Ways to Honor the Country’s Public Safety Telecommunicators
Learn how national organizations are celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, held April 9-15, 2023, and the resources available to you.
Creative Approaches to Telecommunicator Training and Public Education
In honor of National 9-1-1 Education Month, Kristin McKinney of the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District shares ideas and inspiration for PSAPs/ECCs.
Survey: More Than Half of 911 Centers Face Staffing Crisis
A new study of hundreds of U.S. 911 centers paints a compelling picture for staffing, recruitment and retention of telecommunicators.
911 Essentials: What’s New on Docs & Tools
The National 911 Program offers a variety of industry resources vetted by 911 experts and your submissions are always welcome! Take a look at what’s new and popular on Documents & Tools right now.

Issue #13

Published Feb 2023
Looking to 2023: A Message from the National 911 Program Coordinator
Advancing 911 in 2023 won’t just mean improving technology, says Brian Tegtmeyer, but also ensuring the advancement of the professionals who answer calls every day.
Prioritizing Progress in CAD Integration, GIS Implementation and 911 Data Uniformity for the Future of 911
Developing a common data language for 911 systems. Deepening our understanding of the Nation’s GIS and CAD systems. These are just some of the goals being realized with the help of three projects.
Facing Staffing Challenges, Industry Stakeholders Share Tips to Attract and Retain Telecommunicators
Staffing continues to remain a challenge at most 911 centers, prompting industry experts to identify 15 ways to help keep existing PSAP/ECC employees and attract new ones.
Interoperability Task Force Drives Progress Toward a “System of 911 Systems”
As the migration to Next Generation 911 continues, interoperability within and between systems remains critical. To ensure success, an interoperability task force has been created.
Register Today to Prepare for Tomorrow: State of 911 Webinar Dates 2023
It’s a new year, and that means a new series of engaging State of 911 webinars. This series brings the experts to you, keeping you current on some of today’s most pressing topics.

Issue #12

Published Apr 2022
National Organizations Join Effort to Celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week with Tree of Life
This April 10-16, we celebrate 41 years of telecommunicators serving our communities—the public safety community’s first first responders. Multiple efforts and resources are underway to honor these skilled and compassionate professionals.
DoD Recognizes 911 Professionals During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week
The Department of Defense (DoD) acknowledges the work of 911 professionals leading the DoD’s emergency response during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
The National 911 Progress Report: Significant Momentum Toward Next Generation 911
The latest report and interactive data map capture 2020 data indicating that the nation has made headway with the most advanced technological developments in emergency communications to date. The kickoff of the 2021 data collection effort has begun and will be open through June 1, 2022.
National 911 Program Updates: GIS, CAD and DataPath Projects
Important updates are provided on several of the 911 Program’s initiatives, including the CAD Assessment Project, GIS Assessment Project, and the 911 DataPath Project.
NG911 Roadmap Progress Report Details National Efforts Toward NG911 System of Systems
A new report summarizes the latest developments in the 911 community’s efforts to implement Next Generation 911 (NG911) in emergency communication centers nationwide to better serve our community members in times of crisis.

Issue #11

Published Dec 2021
A Heartfelt Thank-You
After more than 17 years in public service, Laurie Flaherty reflects on her time leading the National 911 Program as she prepares to retire at the end of December.
New Resources Address Staffing, Retention and Classification
For the past few months the National 911 Program has been working with several 911 stakeholder groups to develop resources they can use to communicate the challenge of employee retention and support the hiring of new telecommunicators. Here are two ways the Program is helping address staffing issues.
New and Updated Resources Available to the 911 Community
The National 911 Program offers several new and updated resources on, now available to the 911 community.
National 911 Program Awards Three Projects
In line with the National 911 Program’s mission to provide federal leadership and coordination in support of optimal 911 services, the Program recently awarded three new projects to assess the 911 community’s use of computer-aided dispatch and GIS, and continue the next phase of the 911 DataPath Project.

Issue #10

Published Apr 2021
A Heartfelt Thank-You: Celebrating Telecommunicators Week
Every year for the past 40 years, the public safety community pauses in April to recognize…well, you. The legions of dedicated telecommunicators who serve the public, one person at a time, guiding each through some of their very worst moments with skill and compassion.
NG911 for Telecommunicators: A New Resource
The non-technical publication is aimed specifically at our ‘first first responders’ to explain what to expect as emergency communications evolve across the U.S.
Case Study: Iowa’s 911 State Assessment
Every state’s 911 program is different. Which means at least a few things: It’s hard to compare one program to another and, without industry benchmarks, it may not be clear whether a given state’s approach is as effective as it could be. It can also be a challenge to convince supervisors and policy makers of the need for resources to make improvements to a 911 program.
Tennessee Puts CPR LifeLinks to Work
In a matter of months, the state had trained thousands of telecommunicators to tell callers how to administer CPR to help those experiencing cardiac arrest.
DoD Celebrates National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week
The Department of Defense (DoD) is celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week along with state and municipal emergency response partners.

Issue #9

Published Feb 2021
Federal Communications Commission Statutes Improve 911 Access and Location Services
New tools are available to help the 911 community implement Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’S Act, and to aid the public in reaching 911.
National Annual Report Reveals NG911, Text-to-911 Progress
The most current data on state text-to-911, EMD protocols, NG911 implementation progress and more are available in the recently released National 911 Annual Report. Take a look to see how your state compares to others.
Webinar Series Provides Practical, Informative Sessions for 911 Community
Take a look at a few of the highlights from 2020’s “State of 911” webinar series and sign up for informative sessions in 2021. Webinars share helpful updates from state and national experts.
Working Together to Move NG911 Forward
The A new resource developed outlines a path toward an interconnected NG911 system of systems. Easily find what progress has been made and where opportunities exist for contribution from the 911 community.

Issue #8

Published Mar 2020
Q&A with Evelyn Bailey
Evelyn Bailey became a member of NASNA in the early 1990s when she became the first 911 state administrator for Vermont. As a consultant from 2006-2013, she helped state 911 administrators with a variety of projects. In 2014, she became NASNA’s first executive director. She retired from that position at the end of September 2019 and reflects on her work in 911.
Save More Lives with CPR LifeLinks
How can collaboration between 911 centers and EMS improve out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) survival rates? With early and effective CPR.
Improve Awareness and Support: Hosting PSAP Tours for Public Officials
Bill Ferretti, 911 Director for the Department of Police in Montgomery County and Senator Cheryl Kagan, state senator from Maryland discuss the benefits of public officials seeing 911 call centers firsthand.
NG911 Roadmap: Making NG911 Happen at Nationwide Task
The NG911 Roadmap: Pathways Toward Nationwide Interconnection of 911 Services, identifies what needs to be accomplished at the national level – by all members of the 911 community – to make the migration to NG911.

Issue #7

Published Apr 2019
911 Grant Program Application Review Underway
The 911 Grant Program was created to assist in the upgrade of 911 operations and equipment for improved communications. All applications submitted earlier this month are under review for final awards.
Making NG911 A Reality for the Public Safety Community
A host of resources are now available to engage and educate public safety leaders about the implementation and use of NG911.
A Warm Welcome to Kate Elkins
Kate Elkins has joined the National 911 Program and the Office of EMS to offer her expertise in Emergency Medical Services and support the 911 Grant Program.

Issue #6

Published Oct 2018
So How Much Will NG911 Really Cost?
After two years of research, a new study requested by Congress reveals how much it will cost to upgrade all of the nation’s 911 call centers to NG911 capabilities. It will be a valuable resource as legislators look to new funding mechanisms to make NG911 a reality for all.
Share Your Local or State Expertise with Others: Join a State Assessment Team
Local and state 911 leaders interested in growing their career are encouraged to participate in peer-led state 911 assessments to help fellow states continue to advance 911.
New Resources to Help States Advance 911 Systems
In an era when states are encouraged to improve their 911 systems, it’s often found they aren’t given the knowledge or resources to do so. The National 911 Program is in the process of releasing 911-specific resources to help states advance their 911 systems.
States Work Together: NG911 Interstate Connectivity Issues
Developed by four states, the Next Generation 911 Interstate Playbook series offers a collection of lessons learned, best practices and useful templates for PSAPs considering interstate connectivity.

Issue #5

Published Mar 2018
New Projects Recently Awarded to Advance Emergency Communications
The National 911 Program began work on five new projects at the end of 2017 to address topics such as dispatcher assisted CPR and a national NG911 roadmap.
IPAWS Warning Program Aims to Save Lives Through Digital Communication
PSAPs can originate life-saving public notifications such as severe weather and Amber Alerts.
911 Grant Program Regulations Nearing Release, Applications Accepted Soon
Following a public comment period at the end of 2017, the 911 Grant Program's final regulations will be available in early 2018. Stay informed of application availability and the latest program updates.
NHTSA Celebrates 50 Years of 911
As the industry celebrates 50 years of 911 service, NHTSA's Deputy Administrator, Heidi King remarks on the importance of 911 and recounts a call she experienced during her time as a telecommunicator.

Issue #4

Published Sep 2017
New NG911 and FirstNet Guide for State and Local Authorities
A new resource produced by the National 911 Program and NASNA helps states understand how NG911 and FirstNet can work together for improved emergency communication.
Could a Nationally Uniform Data System be in 911’s Future?
The National 911 Program explores the possibilities of a standardized data set for 911, the benefits to the community and the challenges to implement.
DoD’s PSAP Pilot Project Aims to Improve Communication During Military Incidents
The Department of Defense is working with 911 to improve emergency communication during incidents involving a wide range of military personnel.

Issue #3

Published Oct 2016
Local NG911 and National Address Database Initiatives Show Promise
In the August “State of 911” webinar, leaders from Fairfax County shared the latest on a NG911 project to refine PSAP boundaries, and the DOT provided an update on their work to develop a National Address Database.
New Coalition Aims for NG911 in all 911 Systems by 2020
The NG911 NOW Coalition is on a mission to make NG911 a reality for every citizen by the end of year 2020.
Playbook Helps States Interconnect NG911 Networks
A new interstate playbook is an important resource for states wanting to implement an interconnected NG911 network.
Coordinating and Participating in Federal 911 Activities
The National 911 Program collaborates with various other councils, advisory groups and departments working to further 911 systems.

Issue #2

Published Apr 2016
FirstNet Taps Deep 911 Industry Knowledge for New Senior 911 Advisor
FirstNet hired a new Senior 911 Advisor, showing a commitment to engaging with the 911 community in the development of a national public safety broadband network.
News and Resources from 911 Federal Partners
New resources for NG911 transitions, and information about grants and funding, are available to help 911 advance emergency communication systems across the country.
New 911 Legislation, NG911 Standards and More Resources from
Learn about the latest resources and national efforts to advance 911 systems at the local, state and national level.
911 Is Not the Only Number You Need to Know During Railroad Incidents
The Federal Railroad Administration shares location information and important numbers that the 911 community should know during railroad-related incidents.
Next Generation 911 Cost Study Addresses National Progress & Goals in First Year of Effort
Working team makes progress in developing resources to figure nationwide cost of NG911.

Issue #1

Published Feb 2016
Federal Agencies & 911: Who’s Who in Federal 911 Support
From discussing operational requirements at military communication conferences to recommending 911 call center structure, find out what’s happening in 911 at the Federal level and how the 911 community’s interests are represented.
911 Program Begins Study on Next Generation 911 Costs
As technology evolves, traditional 911 funding models are no longer able to sustain the traditional 911 system, let alone support NG911. Recognizing the need for funding reform, the 911 Program has begun work to find out how much NG911 will really cost.
NG911 Progress Across the U.S. Snapshot Now Available
The 911 Program and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) provide the most recent update about progress toward NG911 across the U.S.’s 56 states and territories.
Webinar Highlights Resources and NG911 Adopter Successes
In October, the DHS Office of Emergency Communications discussed technical resources for the 911 community and the New York State Office of Information Technology Services, Street and Address Maintenance Program NG911 implementations experiences.
Federal Partner Spotlight: DHS Advances 911 Services
The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications and the National 911 Program have undertaken several initiatives to help coordinate resources for improved 911 service across the country.