County sets up next-generation 911 network

Morgan County, Ohio, launched an emergency 911 system incorporating new standards for transmitting emergency calls over a wide range of IP formats.

Morgan County, Ohio, has launched an emergency 911 system capable of accepting calls from the public over a wide range of formats, including text, Internet, VoIP and video.

The system, designed by General Dynamics IT, is one of the first 911 systems in the United States to comply with the National Emergency Number Association's (NENA) i3 architecture standards, the firm said, which enables local and nationwide 911 interoperability.

NENA’s i3 standards call for end-to-end Internet Protocol signaling from a Voice over IP (VoIP) endpoint to an IP-enabled public safety answering point, with callback and caller location information provided to the PSAP with the call.

On a practical level, the new system means someone needing to contact 911 can do so over the networks and applications at hand during an emergency, which traditional 911 systems are not designed to do so.

The ability to expand the options for callers means more calls can be fielded and connected, providing dispatchers and police departments more data and thus more opportunities to make a critical intervention in an emergency.

The next-generation 911 technology also provides enhanced GIS data that maps the caller’s location information. Calls and associated information can then be transferred to the closest or most suitable emergency response team, the company said.

General Dynamics built the Morgan County system on a secure cloud architecture, which provides high reliability, redundancy and the means to scale communications to accommodate emergency systems of neighboring counties.

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