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Texas: Inaugural 9-1-1 Early Adopters Summit Gathers Public Safety Leaders to Discuss the Future of Emergency Response

Date: 2017-12-08
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On November 13-15th, public safety communications leaders from across the nation gathered in Arlington, Texas, last week to discuss the changing landscape of 9-1-1 and share ideas for putting the industry on a more productive path. The inaugural 9-1-1 Early Adopters Summit was the event of its kind in the public safety communications sector that brings together the most progressive state and local agencies from across the country to discuss what is needed to solve some of the challenges stalling 9-1-1_s progress, and to explore leading-edge technologies and operational tactics.

“We founded the 9-1-1 Early Adopters Summit because we felt that our industry has been talking about change for too long instead of driving the transformation that’s required. “We’ve become too comfortable with maintaining the status quo,” said Christy Williams, director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Regional 9-1-1 Program and Summit cofounder. “The citizens in our communities need more from us, and it is our job to find a way to fill our 9-1-1 centers with the technology, strategies and staff required to meet the public’s growing demands.”

The theme for this year’s Summit - which was co-hosted by Williams, Jim Lake (director, Charleston County Consolidated 9-1-1 Agency) and Liz Graeber (9-1-1 administrator, Maricopa Region 9-1-1) - was “Disrupt or be Disrupted.” During the Summit, representatives from 15 of the nation’s 9-1-1 agencies networked, collaborated and led engaging discussions regarding their agency’s most innovative technology, governance, and operations initiatives. Topics of discussion included:

  • Social media data and platform use by 9-1-1 centers
  • Innovative methods of contacting 9-1-1, such as using the internet and text-to-9-1-1, and how they integrate with other applications
  • Silo-busting between governmental agencies such as the Department of Transportation, the Department of Defense and the 9-1-1 sector, and across networks such as Next Generation 9-1-1 and the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network being implemented by FirstNet
  • New programs—such as psychiatric patient management and administrative call-takers—that can unburden 9-1-1 telecommunicators
  • Disruptive technologies from vendors such as RapidSOS, RapidDeploy, and Genesis Pulse

The 9-1-1 Early Adopters Summit was formed with the vision of creating a new and unique environment where influential 9-1-1 leaders can inspire their industry peers to promote further innovation in the public safety communications industry. Summit attendees discussed the most impactful steps that 9-1-1 agencies can take to drive change.

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“As early adopters, we are the champions of change. There are several ways that 9-1-1 agencies can push our industry forward. Some examples that we discussed include building our requests for proposals around use cases and the public’s needs; participating in standards development at the national level, but not waiting for standards before we act; and being more collaborative about our projects, and their successes and failures,” Williams said. “If we’re afraid to make mistakes and learn from them, we never will get to where we’re trying to go.”

 

About the 9-1-1 Early Adopters Summit
The 9-1-1 Early Adopters Summit brings together public safety communications agencies from across the United States to network, collaborate and lead discussions regarding their own agency’s technology, governance and operations innovations. This unique environment is intended to inspire and promote further innovation in the public safety communications sector, and from leading private-sector technology partners. For more information, see http://www.nctcog.org/

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via NCTCOG, 12/4/17)

 

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