Staying in contact

As the ‘Next Generation 999’ concept is becoming increasingly important to the public safety call-handling conversation Philip Mason speaks to some of the major players facilitating the
use of broadband data to contact the emergency services.

Public safety call-handling is currently undergoing a variety of fundamental changes, not least when it comes to the increasing number of ways in which those needing assistance are able to get in contact with the emergency services.

Obviously, this continues to include voice, albeit with members of the public just as likely to use a mobile device as they are a traditional landline. At the same time, however, public safety control centres are also having to take account of text messaging, specialist emergency reporting apps, social media and so on.

This concept is known, at least in the UK, as Next Generation 999.

In 2019, public safety communications professional association BAPCO published a white paper highlighting the issues that it said needed to be addressed in relation to the aforementioned change.

This document was not always, to be fair, completely complimentary of the situation in the UK, particularly when it came to what it referred to as “consistency” between emergency services organisations.

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