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PEO Digital News

Next Generation 911 (NG911): The future of emergency response

28 August 2023

From Jennifer Schager, NG911 Lead Engineer, and Robert Browning, NG911 Service Support

The United States Marine Corps is the first Department of Defense (DOD) service to implement Next Generation 911 (NG911) capability at the Public Safety Communication Centers (PSCC) as the emergency response baseline.
The United States Marine Corps is the first Department of Defense (DOD) service to implement Next Generation 911 (NG911) capability at the Public Safety Communication Centers (PSCC) as the emergency response baseline. NG911 is a state-of-the-art, Internet Protocol (IP)-based emergency response technology that utilizes geospatial call routing and seamlessly integrates voice, text and video capabilities to allow callers to connect with emergency services in unprecedented ways. This capability is first being released using a call handling as a service cloud-based model at four PSCCs in California: Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) Twentynine Palms, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

According to Michial Michalovich, director of Marine Corps Installations West (MCI West) G-3/5 Ops and Plans, the Marine Corps decided to utilize the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) NG911 solution due to the aging legacy state emergency communications infrastructure and the inability of the current Marine Corps provided Enhanced 911 (E911) system to fully integrate into the new state Emergency Services IP Network (ESINet). Michalovich shared, “My counterparts and I strongly believe that this transition, which encompasses text-to-911 and enhanced caller location accuracy, is in the best interest of our Marines, family members and civilians aboard California installations.”

The California NG911 system is highly available, reducing Marine Corps 911 system downtime and allowing for dynamic policy-based rerouting of 911 calls to alternate PSCCs and mutual aid partners during disasters. Cut-over and go-live on the California NG911 system is projected to be completed by the end of calendar year 2023. The Marine Corps, like California, has always been at the forefront of innovation and technology. NG911 will continue this tradition, deploying a cloud-based NG911 call handling equipment (CHE) to meet California legislature and guidelines while saving the Marine Corps millions of dollars in equipment and sustainment costs.

Adoption of NG911 allows installations to improve accuracy of call delivery and caller location information while reducing answering time. The introduction of this system is extremely beneficial in keeping safe the families that live on base as well as personnel that come to work on base. It also provides additional situational awareness for Public Safety Telecommunicators (PSTs) during emergency events by providing Text-to-911 capability as well as photos and video in the future as cellular carriers are ready to support.

The NG911 capability was made possible through a unique partnership that was forged in July 2021 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CalOES, MCI-West Commanding General and MCAGCC Twentynine Palms Commanding General. This partnership paved the way for the implementation of the NG911 capability, and in December 2022, Program Executive Office Digital and Enterprise Services (PEO Digital), Marine Corps Installations Command (MCICOM) and Naval Engineering Support (NES) agreed it was advantageous to the Marine Corps to adopt the state funded NG911 initiative in accordance with the MOU.

The Marine Corps sees the California release as a foundation for the remaining PSCCs to achieve NG911 compliance over the next 5 years, and to act as an example to the other services. Steve Mullen, PEO Digital Public Safety Systems (PSS) portfolio manager, is an advocate of the “One Team, One Fight” mentality. In reference to the upcoming fielding, he stated, “This implementation exemplifies the importance of collaborating with the multiple stakeholders and the State of California to deliver state-of-the-art emergency response capabilities to our Marines and Sailors, showcasing the value of such partnerships for these critical lifesaving systems.”


Originally published by CHIPS Magazine:

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