INPUT reports on the most commonly used dispatch technologies

INPUT Justice and Public Safety Analyst Kristin Howe reports on common dispatch technologies as part of a special blog series recognizing National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.

The second installment of this week’s blog series on National Public Safety Telecommunications Week focuses on some of the most popular technology used by public safety answering points (PSAPs).

The most well-known technology used by dispatchers is 9-1-1, though the type of 9-1-1 system used can vary depending on the PSAP. Recently, there has been a huge movement from basic 9-1-1 systems to those with increased capabilities such as enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) or next generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1 or Next Gen 9-1-1). When using a basic 9-1-1 system, dispatchers do not have access to the phone number or location from which someone is calling, and must use a radio system to alert the appropriate emergency responders. E9-1-1 routes the call to the closest PSAP where the dispatcher has automatic access to the caller’s phone number and their location. As of 2006, 93 percent of counties use an E9-1-1 system.

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