4 Organizations to Promote Next-Gen Emergency Calling Standards Globally
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | Comments

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Canada, the European Emergency Number Association (EENA), British APCO (BAPCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) announced a partnership to promote next-generation emergency communications services.

The four associations plan to promote, support and improve emergency communications services that use the “most current and commonly accepted technologies, standards and best practices,” including the i3 standard for next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) in North America and the next-generation 1-1-2 standard in Europe. Under these frameworks, calls for emergency help are handled in a modern, IP-based multimedia environment, as opposed to the voice- and landline-centric frameworks of the past.

“This collaborative effort is essential as we look to improve and innovate emergency communications nationwide,” said Cindy Sparrow, president of APCO Canada. “We look forward to deepening our relationships and sharing information to improve our emergency response systems.”

Activities planned under the agreement include wider dialogue and collaboration in standards development; greater participation in each organization’s individual events from the others; and increased sharing of research findings, training materials and case studies that can help improve the health, wellness and performance of emergency communications professionals no matter where they are, NENA Chief Executive President Brian Fontes wrote in a blog.

The partners will also work to facilitate new technologies and services that can improve public safety on a global scale, said Fontes.

“We are pleased to collaborate with our colleagues from other nations in promoting access to effective life-saving services,” said Demetri Pyrros, president of EENA. “As the industry shifts to next-generation technologies, we want to ensure that our standards and policies are encouraging the most effective methods for emergency assistance.”

In his blog, Fontes said that the partnership is important for three reasons:
• The need for next-generation three-digit emergency calling solutions is global. Because public safety and vendors around the world face the same challenges in upgrading legacy systems to next-generation, it’s important for stakeholders around the world to come together and work together to solve those issues.
• The standards and technology exist but need to be promoted more. Fontes said the the i3 and NG 1-1-2 standards are proven and widely supported but argued that public-safety organizations must promote and implement those standards more aggressively. Additionally, industry needs to continue to innovate within those frameworks and policymakers need to provide leadership and funding to get the technology into the field faster.
• The agreement creates a larger common market. That larger market for standards-compliant next-generation emergency services attracts more vendors, technical talent and competition, which all help accelerate the adoption of next-generation services.

NENA is proud to join this alliance as we work toward a common goal of providing the public with fast, convenient and reliable access to emergency assistance when it matters most,” said NENA President Monica Million. “We are committed to collaborating with these like-minded organizations to ensure that emergency communications are modernized and made more accessible all over the world.”

"This is an exciting time for our industry,” said BAPCO CEO Ian Thompson. “We are grateful for this opportunity to work alongside our peers to provide consistent, reliable emergency communications to citizens around the globe.”

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