In the past, we’ve talked a lot about the critical role that standards play in the advancement of next generation 911 (NG911). They help to ensure interoperability between disparate solutions providers by reducing proprietary development and promoting open-source approaches to design. But as technology continues to change, standards and best practices development becomes even more important in addressing the issues that agencies continue to face when trying to fully implement NG911. That’s where conferences like the National Emergency Number Association (NENA)’s Standards & Best Practices come in.
Much of the work NENA does today is handled via conference calls or virtual meetings, which means it can be difficult to accomplish all that needs to be accomplished when attendees are spread out—and likely distracted. Working conferences, like Standards & Best Practices, give everyone a chance to sit down in the same room and discuss issues and how to overcome them, in a focused setting—enabling more in-depth discussion, understanding and, ultimately, resolution.
The ability to share information regarding technological advancements and operational trends with 911 peers can help us understand the next evolution of our current standards and best practices and craft those needed to continue NG911’s advancement. Events like Standards & Best Practices provide an opportunity to work together to create the resources, guidelines, and documents that will enable next-generation services, systems and public safety answering points (PSAPs) to reach their full potential. They also provide a transparent platform from which standards-development organizations (SDOs) can educate the industry on planned initiatives and those already underway.
It’s a very exciting time to be in an industry with so much change happening so quickly. But it also is vitally important that we are working toward the same definition of NG911. Standards and best practices development—and ultimately implementation—is the best way to do that, and events like NENA’s encourage collaboration among 911 professionals, which helps to bring those standards and best practices to life.
MCP is looking forward to working with other industry professionals during this week’s Standards & Best Practices conference to offer insights on the current state of the 911 industry and collaborate to develop the next standards and best practices that will help to advance NG911’s implementation nationwide.
About the Author:
Sherri Griffith Powell is a senior communications consultant with Mission Critical Partners. She is the chairperson for NENA’s NG911 Education & Training Working Group and will present three sessions during the Standards & Best Practices conference.