Even though technology has evolved rapidly over the past several decades, the basic process for summoning emergency responders hasn’t. If you need help, you typically need to find a phone and make a voice call to an emergency number.
People needing help could soon have more options as a next-generation 9-1-1 system arrives in Morgan County, Ohio, one of the first areas in the United States to use the technology. Council Associate Partner Oracle developed the technology that serves as its backbone.
The next-generation system moves the emergency requests off the old switched telephone lines and onto secure Internet channels, similar to the way that VOIP calls are handled.
General Dynamics built the new system using technology from Oracle, including Oracle Communications Session Border Controller, which ensures that all help calls are secure and that the new capabilities work with the legacy systems. In addition to the security of the calls, Oracle’s technology protects the overall integrity of the 9-1-1 operation by helping to shield it from a variety of Internet threats, such as denial-of-service attacks.
While on the surface it seems like the system is just routing the calls differently, it actually sets the stage for much bigger advances later. For instance, while the U.S. has talked for years about allowing people to request emergency services via text message, that hasn’t happened. That becomes a possibility with this framework.
Eventually, people could also send video messages to dispatchers. The ability to do that could provide first responders with much more information about the situation while they’re on their way, allowing them to be more effective the moment they arrive.
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