Elko County dodged costly and cumbersome patches and upgrades to transition from one of the last few remaining necessary 1960s 9-1-1 systems to cloud-based Next Generation 9-1-1.
FREMONT, CA: Next Generation 9-1-1 came live on Wednesday afternoon, May 20, in Elko and on Friday afternoon, May 22, in West Wendover. The fruitful cutover of these Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) works as 9-1-1 call centers for the 6th largest county in the nation with a population traversing 17,000 square miles, to the new cloud-based NG9-1-1 Emergency Service Internet Protocol Network (ESInet) and Call Processing Equipment (CPE) solution points the first of its kind. Elko County also transitioned from Basic 9-1-1 to NG9-1-1 with integrated location data, making this deployment more remarkable.
The system replaces the outdated 1960s technology, offers compatibility with the wireless world in which we live, cuts outages, and fast paces emergency response times. The technology provided by NGA 911 and partner WestTel marks the nation's first future proof, dependable, and secure cloud-based NG9-1-1 ESInet and CPE solution. NGA 911 ESInet is an IP-based call routing service created to streamline the route between the emergency and the response, offering a better 9-1-1 experience on both sides of the call. This project went into planning with Winbourne Consulting in late 2017, with an award made to NGA 911 in June 2019. The project was on-schedule and on-budget, and the two PSAPs went live on Next Generation 9-1-1 in a few months.
Although NGA 911 ESInet and WestTel CPE, PSAPs have new capabilities like more accurate call routing, and the power to adjust service boundaries to handle unforeseen emergencies and unexpected call volumes. This is also the only NG9-1-1 solution in the U.S. to integrate and provide location data with the 9-1-1 call to a PSAP and pin it on the call takers map.
"We are very excited about the new system and the added safety it brings to our community," says Heather Neilson with West Wendover Dispatch. "The system will enable us to process 9-1-1 calls directly from the caller without a transfer from another agency. This means we can get help to those in need much faster, and that means the world to our dispatchers. We are very thankful for the advancement our community has received and look forward to all it brings."
The residents and visitors can expect several changes over the next year, including the PSAP at Owyhee within the Duck Valley Indian Reservation coming online. Besides, features provide greater situational awareness and capabilities, such as Text to 9-1-1, which is available with the technology today, depending on the integration and readiness of third-party providers before it is open to the public. The residents and visitors can expect Text to 9-1-1 in six months. The addition of new functionality will not have any impact on the 9-1-1 service.
"As a Public Safety Answering Point, we should always try to keep up with new technology to better our Center," states, the Director of the Elko Central Dispatch Administration, Donna Holladay. "This is a noteworthy upgrade to our 9-1-1 system and will eventually provide enhanced support to our dispatchers and first responders. While this is an evolutionary process, the Center in time, will have broader access to location information to assist first responders in the field and improve response times."
Holladay adds, "At this time, we would like to thank the E911 Board for putting this project into motion, the Elko County Emergency Manager for securing a grant that helped make it possible, NGA 911, WestTel, Winbourne Consulting, Eagle Communication, City of Elko IT and lastly the dispatchers who were willing to learn and use the new technology of NG9-1-1 so we can provide better service to the citizens of Elko County."
Put merely, Elko County is stepping into the future with new technology that will grow alongside the telecommunicators, promising better emergency response for residents and visitors for generations to come.