The Call - Summer 2014 - (Page 15)

G OV E R N M E N T A F FA I RS Outreach: The Next Step for NG9-1-1 Trey Forgety NENA Government Affairs Director In early June, I attended a series of meetings convened by the Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to discuss the ongoing development of the future National Public Safety Broadband Network, also known as FirstNet. In one meeting, I had an opportunity to address the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC). Taking their questions afterward, and listening to DHS officials during the conference, I realized that the 9-1-1 community has before us an enormous outreach challenge. You see, 9-1-1 is ahead of the curve. ...IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE 9-1-1 COMMUNITY BEGINS SOCIALIZING THE GREAT WORK OF NENA'S STANDARDS DEVELOPERS, STANDARDSCOMMITTED VENDORS, AND EARLY-ADOPTER AGENCIES WITH OUR PEERS IN THE LAW ENFORCEMENT, FIRE, AND EMS COMMUNITIES. While most of the public safety community is just beginning to learn about, embrace, and deploy IP-based broadband technology, the 9-1-1 community has undertaken major standards development projects and begun to deploy NG9-1-1. Many of the problems of how data sources like images, videos, and HD Voice calls will be accepted, stored, referenced, and retrieved have already been solved in these efforts, and solved in ways that incorporate key operational insights from PSAPs and field responders. Trouble is, the broader public safety community, from the state and local landmobile radio community to the federal public safety communications support entities, has virtually zero knowledge of the key 9-1-1 advances from the last 10 years. For example, questions I received from NCSWIC members  - many of whom are technically oriented - demonstrated that virtually no one understood key elements of NG9-1-1 system operations. For example, when "sending" an image to another user like a field responder, NG9-1-1 systems will generally pass a reference, similar to a web address, rather than the actual data file. This lets the downstream user and her devices know that an image is available and where to retrieve it, if authorized. If the downstream user decides that image might be relevant, she can then "dereference" its location and retrieve the data file automatically. Of course, most of this process is transparent to the user: The firefighter in the field may only notice an icon on her in-vehicle display, and touch the screen to see the image. To a community that is most familiar with broadcast-based LMR networks, however, the idea that every image sent into an NG9-1-1 system won't just be pushed out automatically to every responding unit can appear quite novel. This is where our outreach challenge lies. To build policy support for NG9-1-1 deployments, and to ensure that we aren't faced in the future with expensive, duplicative, and unnecessary interworking scenarios, it is imperative that the 9-1-1 community begins socializing the great work of NENA's standards developers, standards-committed vendors, and early-adopter agencies with our peers in the law enforcement, fire, and EMS communities. Without support from state, local, and tribal field responders, federal agencies like FirstNet and the DHS Offices of Emergency Communications and Interoperability and Compatibility could invest heavily in "reinventing the wheel." That's an outcome that benefits no one, and I'm cautiously optimistic that some key people at these agencies can see that risk. To best mitigate the risk of future interworking, however, I want to challenge you to start reaching out to your colleagues in the other services. Educate yourself about how NG9-1-1 really works, and how its design was influenced by the needs of field responders and the realities of their bandwidth-constrained networks. Invite your peers in other services to join NENA webinars on NG9-1-1, and share with them the online and print resources available from NENA and the National 9-1-1 Office. Reassure them that NG9-1-1 has been carefully thought-out to ensure that it won't result in data overload for field responders - unless they ask for it! Put them in touch with similarly sized agencies in their own discipline that have started down the path to NG9-1-1 deployment. Invite them to NENA conferences and networking events. The goal is to get our allies familiar and comfortable with the technology enough to stand up and say "This works for us!" If we can achieve that, we can save millions of dollars in precious funding and prevent years of delays in broadband network deployment. ● Read the digital edition at 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Call - Summer 2014

President’s Message
From the CEO
Government Affairs
Tech Trends
NENA 2014 Conference & Expo
William M. Mcmurray, Enp Scholarship
William E. Stanton Award
Abandoned 9-1-1 Calls: A Local and National Problem
Making Performance Appraisals Meaningful and Effective
Using a Telephone to Improve the Effectiveness of the Pre-Employment Selection Process
Wireless E9-1-1 Location: A Primer on Fixes, Uncertainty, And Confidence
Index of Advertisers/

The Call - Summer 2014