NENA is urging swift modernization of emergency call systems in light of two recent 9-1-1 outages on both the national and local level. "We have got to make the transition quickly because the longer we stay in this transitional state with one foot in the landline world and one foot in the IP, or internet [protocol], world, the more vulnerable we're going to be," said Trey Forgety, NENA's director of government affairs.
Dallas officials are trying to find the cause of an influx of 9-1-1 calls, which caused long wait times for legitimate 9-1-1 calls. The problem might have delayed emergency response and thereby contributed to the deaths of two people, including a 6-month-old child.
Answering 9-1-1 calls as quickly as possible and keeping callers on the line as long as needed are key issues for dispatchers in Memphis, Tenn. The city has made improvements to speed response times, such as increasing staffing levels, and it is now working with health care providers to find more efficient ways to respond to medical calls that are not life-threatening.
FirstNet is expected to award its contract to build a nationwide first-responder service to AT&T after a federal court ruling Friday against Rivada Networks, which had challenged the procurement process. The judge denied Rivada's petition to upgrade its bid, leaving AT&T as the sole entity with an offer in the "competitive range" of bids.
Startup company ResponderX is close to real-life testing for tracking equipment designed to go inside buildings where GPS does not work. Andrew Jarrett of ResponderX said the device would be attached to firefighter helmets and would send "bread crumbs" to network hubs on fire department vehicles.
A Texas A&M University medical student is conducting a study to determine how hand-held ultrasounds can help paramedics. Four teams in Texas are participating, and the paramedics say the tablet-size ultrasound machine helps them assess heart and lung function and place IVs, enabling them to provide faster, potentially lifesaving treatment.