IAFF Urges FCC Commissioner to Set 3-Meter 9-1-1 Indoor Location Metric
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 | Comments

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) urged the FCC to move forward with 9-1-1 indoor location requirements of ±3 meters for the Z axis.

Recent filings by the wireless carriers suggest a troubling effort to delay long-agreed milestones and to weaken metrics, particularly as it relates to vertical location accuracy within 3 meters,” said the letter from IAFF General President Harold A. Schaitberger to FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. “Compliant results have been demonstrated repeatedly over the past seven years of testing, and the record indicates that carriers can implement this technology in a timely and efficient manner.”

The letter said the time difference between an emergency response to a precise location (including altitude) as compared to a vague search area is often the difference between life and death.

IAFF members conducted actual field tests in San Francisco in July 2014. San Francisco Fire Fighters and IAFF Local 798 working with the San Francisco Fire Department and the city of San Francisco Department of Emergency Management Division of Emergency Communications conducted real-world dispatch tests in multistory urban structures. The tests provided a clear and measurable validation of the commission's conclusion that dispatch with vertical location information significantly improves emergency response time, the letter said.

The time difference between an emergency dispatch to a precise vertical location in competition with an indefinite search area is enormous — up to 10 times in some tests. These tests clearly indicate that vertical altitude information can provide a substantial improvement in search effectiveness in multistory structures, even without a precise floor number or a dispatchable address.

In addition to protecting the public, improved indoor location information, mainly vertical location, can help protect emergency responders. The same technology that allows public-safety answering points (PSAPs) to identify the vertical location of a caller in distress will also help locate downed rescuers, Schaitberger said.

The IAFF also supports the concept of an address-based dispatchable location. The FCC afforded the wireless carriers four years to introduce and prove the utility of dispatchable location technology.

“Unfortunately, as the NEAD dispatchable location test bed results have demonstrated, achieving an accurate dispatchable location has a long way to go before it can be a useful tool for dispatchers and responders,” the letter said. “Further, the NEAD test results suggest that the commission’s current NEAD compliance metrics may be woefully inadequate to provide even minimal levels of dispatchable location performance. If address-based dispatchable locations are ever to become an acceptable location alternative, the commission should start a proceeding to explore what compliance metrics are appropriate and what technical improvements are required to achieve that reality. Until such time, we need accurate Z-axis availability as soon as possible.”

IAFF has more than 317,000 career professional firefighters and emergency medical responders.

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On 9/18/19, Jamal Haddad said:
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Anybody with suggestions on the shortest route, please get ahold of me.


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