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Learn the Ins and Outs of Cloud Implementations for Public-Sector Agencies in Our Latest Podcasts

The “cloud” still seems to be a thing of mystery to many in the public sector. To help unravel the mystery, MCP created three podcasts, which can be found on our website, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

These Are 2022’s Most Important Public Safety Trends

MCP Insights asked the firm’s subject-matter experts to predict what will occur this year concerning communications technologies, operations, and governance in the public safety sector (law enforcement, fire/rescue, emergency medical, and 911) and the public sector (government and justice). Here’s what they said:

New Podcast Offers Numerous Ideas to Solving the 911 Community’s Staffing Problems

Dutch folklore recounts the story of a little boy who plugs a hole that formed in a dike, using only his finger, to keep his town from flooding — he stays in place through the night despite the cold and becomes a hero. If this story were applied to today’s 911 community, the boy would need to use multiple digits or would need a few of his pals to help out.

Newest Podcast Covers the 911 Community’s Biggest Issues — CAD System Inconsistency, the Staffing Crisis, and More

For more than a half century, the 911 system in the United States has performed admirably, saving countless lives in the process. But today it needs some work. A migration to Next Generation 911, which represents a quantum leap forward in terms of capabilities compared with the legacy 911 system, is what we hear about most often. But several other key aspects require equally rapt attention.

Recently I participated in a podcast with Laurie Flaherty, the recently retired coordinator of the National 911 Program, and John Chiaramonte, president of Mission Critical Partners' consulting business, in which a few of the most pressing needs were discussed. (Click here to view the podcast, or view it as video here.)

A Toolkit Designed To Help Telecommunicators Get Their Due

A problem long has existed in the 911 community, which is that telecommunicators working in emergency communications centers (ECCs) from coast to coast are wrongly classified by the federal government. This has a profoundly negative effect on their self-esteem, compensation, and career development.

The National 911 Program created a toolkit, with Mission Critical Partners’ help, to address this. More on that soon — but first a little history.

Take This Step to Move Next Generation 911 Interconnection Forward

Next generation 911 (NG911) networks represent a huge leap forward compared with legacy 911 systems. They locate emergency callers more efficiently and accurately because they leverage geospatial routing. Because they are broadband-enabled, they can transport incredibly large files, e.g., video, that would choke legacy systems. And because they are Internet Protocol (IP)-based, they enable seamless shifting of a 911 center’s operations to another center in a bug-out situation.

A Few Words of Praise for the National 911 Program’s Laurie Flaherty

On Friday, December 17, Laurie Flaherty, the longtime coordinator of the National 911 Program, will retire. That will be a sad day for the 911 community and for me personally. I first got to know Laurie when I was editor-in-chief of Urgent Communications. Our paths crossed often over the years at conferences, usually when I was covering an educational session where she was speaking. Inevitably, I would make a beeline to her as soon as the session ended, at which time she would patiently answer every question that I had, generously giving me all of the time that I needed.

Broadband Could Be the Key to Unlocking Federal Funds for NG911 Implementations

It has been a few weeks since Congress reduced the amount of federal funding for Next Generation 911 (NG911) implementations in the Build Back Better Act — also known as the Budget Reconciliation Act —from $10 billion to $470 million. Also included is $20 million for administrative costs associated with the grant program that will disperse the money, $9 million to establish an NG911 cybersecurity center and $1 million for establishing an NG911 advisory board. The House passed this legislation on November 19 and it now goes to the Senate.

There seems to be a considerable amount of handwringing about what slashing NG911 funding by roughly 95 percent means for the future of this vital technology. That’s understandable. NG911 represents a quantum leap forward compared with legacy 911 systems — an apt analogy is that the former is an airplane while the latter is a horse and buggy.

Decision Regarding NG911 Is An Obstacle That Can Be Overcome

Last week the 911 community received some bad news.

The House recommended just $500 million for Next Generation 911 implementations, a fraction of the $10 billion that it originally recommended. (See the Urgent Communications story.)

We know that $500 million isn’t going to stretch very far. We also know that the $10 billion is right in line with the Next Generation 911 Cost Study that Congress requested in 2012. Three years ago, the National 911 Program published the Cost Study, with support from Mission Critical Partners. Congress had requested a comprehensive investigation into the cost of deploying NG911 service nationwide. It did so in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 — the same legislation that authorized the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) being implemented under the auspices of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and provided $7 billion in seed money.

9/11 Two Decades Later — Much Done, Much Still to Do

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, as well as the hijacking of a third commercial airliner that day, United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers confronted the terrorists. The attacks resulted in 2,977 fatalities and more than 25,000 injuries. It is the deadliest single incident for firefighters and police officers in the U.S., who respectively lost 340 and 72 members that day. It remains the deadliest terrorist attack our history.

Implementing a Cybersecurity Training Program is the First Line of Defense

Cybersecurity has become a huge problem for any organization that is operating networks and/or systems, but especially so for those in the government sector, particularly public-safety and justice agencies.

Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right for Your Agency?

A lot of people in the public safety/justice/public sector sectors are talking about cloud-based solutions these days. It is easy to understand why there is so much chatter because solutions that live in the cloud offer some impressive benefits. Here are just a few:

  • Cloud-based solutions typically offer best-of-breed technologies and services
  • Cloud-based solutions remove the maintenance and upgrade burden from the end user from a technology perspective
  • Cloud-based solutions often make it easier to share resources regionally or even broader compared with siloed, on-premises solutions
  • Cloud-based solutions typically offer enhanced resiliency and redundancy compared with on-premises solutions
  • Cloud-based solutions often make it easier for agencies to transfer operations to another location in “bug out” scenarios
  • Cloud-based solutions are easier and faster to scale —both up and down, based on the agency’s needs at any given juncture — compared with on-premises solutions
  • Cloud-based solutions typically are more secure, because providers often have greater information technology and cybersecurity resources and assets to draw upon