Through grant funding provided by the State 911 Department, the Mattapoisett Police Department has upgraded its 911 service to the Next Generation 911 (NG911) system, the latest in 911 service technology.
The NG911 system is an improved emergency call technology created to better handle rising call traffic more efficiently.
The new system went online January 25 and has been successfully fully operational for almost a month now.
Although 911 callers will not notice any discernable difference, Mattapoisett Police Officer Kyle Pavao said the new system runs off the Internet connection through a voiceover IP address, rather than the telephone line as the old system used.
“Within a couple of years, the entire state will eventually have the new system,” said Pavao. “It allows more adaptable features,” he added – features such as 911 text messaging and in-car crash systems. “It’ll be easier to integrate those features when you couldn’t do that with the old system because of the old telephone line.”
Although Mattapoisett does not yet accept 911 text messages, it could at some point in time. For now, said Pavao, the State 911 department has not yet made 911 text message acceptance mandatory for departments, although slowly some are adopting the feature.
The NG911 system allows for more accurate and detailed location pinpointing through the integration of the town’s GIS system.
“It’s a completely different software from the old system,” said Pavao. “It’s more reliable. We’ve become more technology-based.”
The NG911 is faster, more flexible and resilient, and able to keep up with the newest technologies used by the public, such as e-mail, text, video messaging, and instant messaging.
NG911 will allow Mattapoisett in the future to integrate these features, allowing residents who are in an emergency situation to text photos, videos, and other information through various applications to the 911 dispatchers, in addition to the traditional voice call.
“It also allows the hearing impaired to have easier access to emergency response, provide emergency responders with possible life-saving information before arriving on-scene, and will eventually allow local 911 centers to receive data from in-vehicle crash notification systems,” reads a press release from the police department.
The Mattapoisett Police Department received the NG911 upgrade at no cost to the town.
By Jean Perry