The transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) in Manitoba is one step closer to reality with the successful completion of an IP-based 9-1-1 test call. Nancy MacDonald explains what this means for emergency call management in the province.
An important milestone on the road to Next Generation 9-1-1 for the province of Manitoba was reached last week. On November 27, Manitoba Provincial 911, the public safety answering point (PSAP) in Brandon, conducted the first emergency test call in Manitoba on a Bell Canada NG9-1-1 Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet). As part of the test, the Solacom Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling solution processed the call successfully, displayed caller location on a call taker’s display screen, and transferred the call to a third party using the public telephone network.
The successful completion of this call is part of Manitoba’s preparations for the transition to NG9-1-1, which will be implemented across Canada starting June 30, 2020. And it’s part of the journey to full-featured next-gen service that the Brandon PSAP started a year ago.
Legacy 9-1-1 to Be Phased Out
Like most PSAPs in Canada, Manitoba Provincial 911 has been operating on an E9-1-1 network that will be decommissioned by June 30, 2023. While the existing 9-1-1 network has provided critical emergency call routing for more than 30 years, it has reached end of life. Everyone in the emergency services industry agrees that the old network cannot keep up with public expectations of what a modern 9-1-1 service should be and the evolving technologies that make NG9-1-1 more effective and efficient for emergency call management.
The evolution to a next-gen, IP-based ESInet by Bell Canada makes the move to NG9-1-1 possible for all PSAPs. But, as noted by the Canadian NG9-1-1 Coalition in 2018, “PSAPs will need to aggressively update infrastructure and operational procedures to capitalize on new capabilities and meet the evolving expectations of citizens and responders. NG9-1-1 is not an endpoint, but a continual program of ongoing enhancements.”
It’s with that evolution in mind that Manitoba Provincial 911 started to prepare for the move to NG9-1-1 in 2018.
Ready for Whatever the Future May Bring
The Brandon PSAP handles 9-1-1 calls for most of the province of Manitoba, taking calls from across the province, dispatching fire and police for 225 communities, and transferring to other PSAPs and agencies as needed. In 2018, it replaced its aging 9-1-1 call handling and management system with a Solacom Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling solution.
In terms of NG9-1-1 readiness, Manitoba Provincial 911 is ahead of almost every other PSAP in Canada with a solution designed to meet NENA i3 standards, as well as CRTC requirements. The successful test call last week and the demonstration of next-gen caller location identification and transfer capabilities continue to keep the Brandon PSAP at the forefront of the evolution to NG9-1-1 in Canada. More importantly, the PSAP is well positioned for the future.
As NG9-1-1 rolls out across the country, Manitoba Provincial 911 will be able to leverage the foundation it established in 2018 to eventually manage any emergency call in any format and collect rich situational awareness information from any source as technology evolves, which may include:
- Next-generation voice
- Real-time texting
- 3D location mapping
- Image-enriched messaging
- Video-enhanced data
Ultimately, the technology will enable Manitoba Provincial 911 to provide more efficient and effective emergency services to residents across the province that will improve response times and may save lives.
To learn more about how a full-featured Guardian emergency call management solution can position your PSAP for future NG9-1-1 requirements, visit our solutions page.