FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, Feb. 27, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Update: Whitman Police and Fire Implement Next Generation 911 System Technology
WHITMAN — Police Chief Scott Benton and Fire Chief Timothy J. Grenno are pleased to announce that, in collaboration with the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center and the State 911 department, Whitman has completed the implementation of the Next Generation 911 System (NG911).
The new NG911 System is an adaptable, fast and technologically resilient system intended to better serve the needs of communities in emergency response situations. The Internet Protocol (IP)-based communication system sends and receives information over a fiber network, providing greater reliability and easier opportunity for future expansion when new communication technologies become available.
In the future, NG911 will also allow electronic transmission of information, such as pictures, videos, and text messages to be easily transmitted from the public to public safety answering points (PSAP’s), better known as dispatch centers, and then to emergency responders through the network.
Whitman’s IT Director Josh MacNeil played a vital role in coordinating the work with various vendors and state agencies to ensure a smooth transition to this new system. The Next Gen 911 system, which was activated in Whitman on Thursday, Feb. 23, will be implemented in every department throughout the state by the end of 2017. The new equipment includes larger computer monitors, keyboards, keypads and phones. In addition, dispatchers have the option to perform any function using the computer’s mouse, telephone or keypad.
The public will not notice a change in how they communicate with police and fire dispatch centers. In the coming months, however, community members will be able to text their emergencies to Whitman public safety. Eventually, callers will be able to electronically send photos and videos. More information on this feature will be released when it becomes available.
“As technology continues to increase, we strive to connect with members of our community in every way they connect with one another,” Chief Benton said. “Next Gen 911 provides a faster and more reliable communications system so that we can better serve Whitman residents.”
Among several other advantages, the new updates provided by this technology will allow the hearing impaired to have easier access to emergency response, provide emergency responders with possible life-saving information before arriving on-scene, and eventually will allow local 911 centers to receive data from in-vehicle crash notification systems.
Next Generation 911 will standardize the underlying technology of various 911 systems and centralize databases of information. The system will also connect PSAP’s in a network that will allow transferring of calls, distributing overflow of 911 calls to other centers, and will connect PSAP’s with private services to handle automatic crash notifications.
“The capabilities of Next Gen 911 will allow for a faster, more fluid response from Whitman Fire-Rescue and allow us to communicate with those in an emergency situation in multiple ways,” Chief Grenno said. “Our goal is to be where you need us, when you need us, anytime day or night.”