Nearly every emergency communications center (ECC) in the U.S. uses a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system to dispatch 911 calls and to facilitate records management. Very few, if any, CAD system components are uniform across vendors.
This situation creates a significant barrier to transferring emergency calls and associated data — such as caller location information — an essential function required for the 911 community to transition to Next Generation 911 (NG911) functionality. It also creates a significant challenge for transferring call information to first responders in the field via public safety broadband networks — such as the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) being implemented by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) — which is needed to enhance responder safety and situational awareness.
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“The decentralized nature of today’s CAD environment hinders data-sharing within the 911 community and between 911 systems and public safety broadband networks like FirstNet,” said Laurie Flaherty, National 911 Program Coordinator. “To realize the benefits of a nationally interconnected, seamless system of systems, the disparate nature of CAD systems must be understood, and solutions developed for the 911 community.”
To support the National 911 Program in a nationwide assessment of the current status of CAD systems, the National 911 Program has selected Mission Critical Partners (MCP). This selection was made following a full and open solicitation, and comprehensive evaluation of all proposals. The assessment and resulting report will summarize the current status of CAD, and the challenges associated with establishing an interoperable 911 CAD data-sharing capability nationwide.
The National 911 Program is responsible for improving coordination and communication among federal, state, and local ECCs, personnel, and telecommunications carriers and vendors. One of the Program’s primary objectives is to develop and share resources concerning the technology used in providing 911 services.