GIS for 911

Help for the Helpers: NG911 GIS Grants

Help for the Helpers: NG911 GIS Grants

Chances are you or someone you know has used 9-1-1 in a life-threatening situation. It has happened in my family. All ended well because of an incredible number of caring people who are really good at their jobs. I got to meet some of them and am forever grateful for them. But I will never meet the person who was there at the beginning, the 9-1-1 dispatcher. And until I started working on 911 GIS data projects, I never gave the technology behind this system a second thought. Many times someone is able to give the location of the incident or person in distress. But what if something goes wrong during the phone call? Would the dispatcher have the tools to determine the person’s location when calling from a cell phone and quickly send the appropriate services? If a person is able to text but not speak would she be able to do so? This is a portion of what Next Generation 911 (NG9-1-1) can do for us.