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VITA launches Next Generation 9-11 technology in Virginia

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The Virginia Information Technologies Agency has launched a new internet protocol network that has the ability to deliver calls to the appropriate 911 center faster, interconnect with other public safety systems and databases, and securely receive multimedia communications, including text, photos and videos.

Next Generation 9-1-1 launched this week through VITA’s Integrated Services Program, in coordination with Fairfax County Public Safety.

“Virginia is breaking new ground with our work on Next Generation 9-1-1 and our commitment to keeping Virginians safe 24/7,” said Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth Nelson Moe. “Employing the latest technologies connects emergency service providers and those in need of assistance more efficiently and reliably.”

A picture of a crash scene may provide responders with information about potential hazardous materials or the extent of injuries that could save time and lives.

“The focus of the Fairfax County team and ISP throughout the deployment process was to deliver public safety services that improve connectivity for residents in times of emergency,” said Interim ISP Director Dorothy Spears-Dean. “These efforts ensure that lifesaving instructions and responders arrive at the correct place, in the quickest way possible.”

The technology will provide efficient, more equitable access to emergency services in the future. Geospatial emergency call routing will ultimately reduce transmitting times from 15-20 seconds to less than one second and can be seamlessly transferred to any location in the country where NG9-1-1 is fully deployed.

Additionally, NG9-1-1 integrates voice and data for faster dispatch processing. The technology provides future opportunities for callers who speak various languages to automatically be routed to a multilingual call taker. Callers from the area of a special event could be routed to a temporary, on-site command center for processing rather than the emergency call center.

“As we all know, seconds count in a 911 emergency and this new partnership will help us to improve on our public safety focus. The successful move to NG9-1-1 solidifies Fairfax’s transition to a Next Generation Core Services platform,” said Steve McMurrer, 911 System Administrator for Fairfax County. “Other jurisdictions in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Metropolitan Washington Area will join this effort over the coming months.”

With significant advances of the technology and capabilities and functionality of a next generation network, VITA and its partners have been positioned to assure a seamless, unified deployment.

“I congratulate Fairfax County’s Department of Public Safety Communications for their tremendous accomplishment, and the ISP team looks forward to announcing additional NG9-1-1 deployments in the near future,” said Brian Crumpler, ISP regional coordinator responsible for Fairfax County.

“In addition to our support of localities as they make the move to NG9-1-1, the ISP team coordinates training and partnerships in Virginia communities to receive information and direct feedback from our local public safety coordinators,” said Spears-Dean. “We jump in with both feet to work alongside the locality, public safety communicators and vendor communities to find the best solutions to support our public safety goals.”

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