MCP Insights

With GIS Centerlines, the Devil Often is in the Details

Posted on August 12, 2020 by Glenn Bischoff

Public safety agencies draw polygons using their geographic information systems (GIS) that define their jurisdictional footprints and the areas in which they provision emergency services. When such polygons abut, generally along jurisdictional borders, they must “snap” to each other; another way of expressing that is to say that the polygon borders must be coincident. If they are not, overlaps and/or gaps can occur—both are problematic from an emergency response perspective. Jurisdictional boundaries most often are in the form of road centerlines, which represent the center of a real-world road.

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Panel Discussion Offers Myriad Tips for Battling Public Safety’s Ever-Growing Cybersecurity Menace

Posted on July 15, 2020 by Glenn Bischoff

The cybersecurity problem that public safety agencies have is very big and it’s not going away—if anything, it’s only going to expand as time passes. That was the consensus of a panel convened for MCP’s inaugural Conference for Advancing Public Safety, which was presented last month.

“The threat’s there—something is going to happen, and we need to be prepared for it,” said Thomas Stutzman, director, Indiana County (Pennsylvania) Emergency Management Agency.

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Call-Handling and Dispatch Technology Considerations for ECCs

Posted on July 10, 2020 by Eric Caddy

First responders historically have arrived at an emergency scene armed with only the information that emergency communications center (ECC) telecommunicators extracted while talking with a 911 caller. However, such callers usually are experiencing one of the worst moments of their lives, which makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for most to deliver complete, coherent information. As a result, first responders are left to piece together what to expect upon arrival.

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Getting GIS Data Ready for NG911 is Laborious and Time Consuming—and Essential

Posted on July 7, 2020 by Robert Horne

Many emergency communications centers (ECCs) across the United States are migrating toward Next Generation 911 (NG911) systems because their advanced capabilities make them a quantum leap forward from legacy 911 systems. The biggest benefit is that the geospatial data generated by geographic information systems (GIS) is much more accurate than the automatic location identification (ALI) and master street address guide (MSAG) data used in legacy systems.

Because of this, geospatial data will be used in the NG911 environment to locate emergency callers, resulting in fewer misrouted 911 calls, which will save precious time when lives are on the line. Roughly two decades ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) conducted a study of emergency incidents in the Salt Lake City area; extrapolating the data findings, the commission concluded that about 10,000 additional lives could be saved each year for every one-minute reduction in emergency-response time.

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Launching the 911 DataPath Project

Posted on July 2, 2020 by Jackie Mines

A lot of data is being collected about 911 service in the United States by a plethora of government entities at all levels. The data collected by everyone—from local and regional authorities to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—is used for a variety of reasons:

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