Thursday, February 18, 2010

911 -- The Next Generation

First, there was 911. Then there was Enhanced 911. Now, Putnam County Ambulance Service Director Randy Porter says he is helping the state to develop 911, the Next Generation -- also known as NG911. Next generation technology is intended to allow the 911 system to receive text messages from cell phones, something it's not capable of doing right now. He says there are also compatibility issues with some Internet phone services. But Porter says NG911 should begin deployment in the latter part of this year. The conversion process is similar to the recent conversion of televisions from analog to digital. It will involve the deployment of an IP platform specifically for 911 and the purchase and deployment of new equipment at 911 call centers across the state. Porter, who is chairman of the state's Emergency Communication Board, says, "Once the NG 911 project is complete, Tennesseans will have access to the best technology available to coordinate emergency response."