From the Users Perspective

As consumers, we regularly embrace new technologies. There is no extended training process, (well- maybe, if you are old enough to remember the flashing 12:00 on a VCR) and certainly no requirement that you understand all of the complex technology behind it.

In the 911 community, however, there is a push to educate everyone on how the proposed Next Generation system will work. I recently attended an event where a vendor, with the best of intentions, gave a very animated ‘educational overview.’ A large group of their employees wore (or were forced to wear) signs with NG9-1-1 acronyms (LIS, LoST, ECRF, etc.).  They then moved around the room as they took turns walking the 911 ‘call’ through the proper sequence.

As attendees were leaving this demonstration,  I heard a number of comments such as ‘what was that all about’, others that I choose not to include in this post.

This same type of instruction scenario happens throughout the country.

A certain segment of the 911 community welcomes in-depth technical training on the detailed network aspects of NextGen but, for the vast majority, it is of little interest. I have always thought that someone needs to focus on the users (911 call takers and management). How will this new technology impact operations, etc. The reality is that as users, we just want it to work...

APCO has announced a new initiative, Project 43 which is focused on the user, “Practitioner-led effort prepares for the paradigm shift in public safety communications”

APCO Project 43

I’ve applied to participate, this should be  interesting.