MCP Insights

Five Takeaways from the 2018 NENA Conference

Posted by Dave Sehnert on Jun 29, 2018 11:00:00 AM

The 2018 NENA Conference may have been the best yet. Combine Nashville, thousands of emergency communications professionals sharing ideas and experiences, and more than ninety hours of breakout sessions and you have the framework for true movement in the industry.

And we did have movement.

iOS 12 will help save time and lives: By far the hottest topic was the national headline-generating announcement from Apple and RapidSOS.  Apple’s new iOS 12 – launching later this year – will automatically and securely share its HELO location data via the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse. HELO is Apple’s Hybridized Emergency Location application which estimates a mobile 911 caller’s location using cell towers and on-device data sources like GPS and WIFI Access Points.

The move opens up accurate location data for 911 callers who are among the 85 million iPhone users in the U.S. – nearly 43% of the total smartphone market. The step is a significant one and one that MCP believes will result in faster and more accurate information to help reduce emergency response times once available to PSAPs.

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Topics: Industry News, 911

Using data to improve emergency response outcomes

Posted by Kevin Murray on Jun 27, 2018 5:30:00 PM

All fine restaurants have two things in common: they use the best ingredients in their recipes and, more importantly, they have chefs who know exactly what to do with those ingredients.

The public safety sector is on the cusp of an incredibly exciting new era, one that will be driven by a torrent of rich data and more precise wireless location coming into 911 centers. This data potentially will have a spectacular impact on emergency response—but only if it is harnessed effectively.

When the “data tsunami” is contemplated today, it generally is in the context of Next Generation 911 and the nationwide public safety broadband network being implemented by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). But there also is much discussion these days about integrating crowd-sourcing applications—such as the Waze traffic-navigation app—and social media into the emergency response environment, as well as the convergence of the “smart cities” concept and public safety. The idea is to leverage the millions, perhaps billions, of sensors already in place in communities today, from video cameras to motion detectors to gunshot-location systems to wearable devices, and use them to evolve 911 centers into proactive hubs that can prevent emergencies instead of simply responding to them. This data can generate unprecedented situational awareness, which when integrated, prioritized and operationalized into the PSAP, will improve emergency response outcomes and keep first responders safer. This is no small consideration.   

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Topics: Next Generation 911, Data Integration Program

INTERVIEW: Helping 911 Evolve as Technology Evolves

Posted by Glenn Bischoff on Jun 4, 2018 3:21:25 PM

This blog post is the second in a two-part series with two MCP experts, John Cunnington and Nancy Pollock, who together have more than of 80 years of experience in public safety communications. This blog post is part of our Let's Evolve 911 campaign that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first 911 call, which took place 50 years ago this year.

In a previous post, Nancy Pollock and John Cunnington shared their perspectives on the evolution of 911 service in the United States over its first half century. In this post, they pick up where they left off, finishing with their insights regarding the sector’s future.

MCP Insights: In the previous post, you spoke of the addressing challenges that existed in the early stages of 911 service. But eventually, ANI/ALI and selective routers became ubiquitous—so the next big step forward was the introduction of CAD.

Nancy: To understand how important the introduction of CAD was, you have to understand how things were done before it arrived. 

John: There was a manually created “run card” for every physical location—on that card was a list of the various emergency services that could be dispatched to that location. These run cards were the precursors of the datasets that are contained in today’s CAD systems. When a call came in, the dispatcher would pull the run card and use it to make the appropriate dispatching decisions. It was important that the run card was put back in its rightful place, so that it would be available for the next incident at that location. Keeping the cards updated was a major effort.

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Topics: 911 Anniversary

INTERVIEW: In the Early Days, Implementing 911 Was No Easy Task

Posted by Glenn Bischoff on May 31, 2018 10:30:00 PM

This blog post is the first in a two-part series with two MCP experts, John Cunnington and Nancy Pollock, who together have more than of 80 years of experience in public safety communications. This blog post is part of our Let's Evolve 911 campaign that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first 911 call, which took place 50 years ago this year.

A national property insurance firm coined the slogan, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.” Given the collective experience of MCP’s experts, it is a slogan we too would be justified in using.

In this year when the 50th anniversary of 911 service in the United States is being celebrated, two of those experts, John Cunnington and Nancy Pollock, shared their memories about the things they’ve seen over their well-established 911 careers, with a focus on the evolution of 911 service to date.

MCP Insights: What was 911 service like when you started your career?

John: I started in the mid-1970s, in a very rural part of central Pennsylvania, and for the first six to eight years we didn’t have routine access to 911 service. With only small towns or cities with 911, depending on the type of emergency, citizens would call 10-digit numbers for each discipline: police, fire, EMS and so on. Consolidated communications centers was our key focus. It was a lot to coordinate, and getting calls to the right place was cumbersome, time-consuming and fraught with error. And even though we could see the benefits of consolidating all calls in a single emergency number and platform, many service chiefs and local elected officials resisted the change, citing local control and knowledge. The key to our early success was having a “champion” in each county for consolidation. In my early experience, I was supported by courageous police chiefs, EMTs and firefighters to keep consolidation in the forefront. They were the early adopters in those years.

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Topics: 911 Anniversary

Power Management Considerations for the Public Safety Facility of the Future

Posted by Jeff Lupinacci on May 23, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Over the last year, we’ve talked a lot about the operational impact that technology and data will have on public safety agencies and public safety answering points (PSAPs). While advanced telecommunicator training, new data systems, improved network management and cyber security will remain a focus for government and PSAP leaders, as we look ahead to the future we must also take into consideration how these changes and technology advancements will ultimately affect the physical public safety facility, as well.

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Topics: Public Safety Facilities

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MCP Insights by Mission Critical Partners is the online destination for public safety leaders to expand their knowledge, stay abreast of trends, and discover innovative ideas to help implement change that will advance the industry... Because the mission matters.

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