D.C. may use private ambulances for some 9-1-1 calls | San Diego makes progress reducing 9-1-1 calls from frequent users | Transportation Dept. awards emergency railroad response training grants
September 30, 2015
NENA SmartBrief
News for emergency communications and response professionals

Making the Call
D.C. may use private ambulances for some 9-1-1 calls
Washington, D.C., will consider using private ambulances to take patients who are not in serious condition to the hospital. The city would still send out a paramedic or emergency medical technician to each 9-1-1 call, and that person would determine if the patient could safely be switched to a private ambulance service. Officials said the plan could reduce pressure on an overloaded 9-1-1 system, and they estimate that 200 patients could be taken by private ambulance to the hospital each day. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (9/28)
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San Diego makes progress reducing 9-1-1 calls from frequent users
San Diego's Resource Access Program, which uses paramedics to help frequent 9-1-1 callers find community resources, in one year reduced the number of people making 25 or more calls in six months from 10 to three. Health care costs for 50 frequent users were cut $314,000 in one year. In the past three years, the percentage of ambulance calls attributed to frequent 9-1-1 callers has dropped from 17.3% to 11.6%. The San Diego Union-Tribune (9/25), The San Diego Union-Tribune (9/27), The San Diego Union-Tribune (9/28)
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Other News
Policy Pulse
Updated FirstNet structure shows areas of responsibility
New data on the structure of FirstNet indicate a chosen partner would be responsible for more than 63% of the broadband network's system functions, while public-safety agencies would handle mostly user-management issues related to devices and applications. Public-safety agencies would share responsibility with the FirstNet partner for network monitoring and customer service and would have a role in end-user training and device life-cycle management. Urgent Communications (9/24)
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FCC fines companies over 9-1-1 calls from hearing-impaired
The Federal Communications Commission has issued fines to Sprint, Hamilton Relay and InnoCaption for failing to accept 9-1-1 calls from devices used by people who are hearing-impaired. The companies did not handle the calls for varied amounts of time but sought reimbursement for providing the service. The companies had not been aware of the issue until the FCC investigation and will have to strengthen their policies for spotting 9-1-1 issues and assess future risks. The Hill (9/24)
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Innovation Insights
Transportation Dept. develops database of all US addresses
Federal officials are developing a database containing the geographic location of every address in the US, which could be a big help to dispatchers and first responders. Transportation Department Geospatial Information Officer Steve Lewis said there are patchwork databases across the country but a comprehensive system would allow for better information when more than one county is involved. StateScoop.com (9/29)
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New software sends building data to multiple mobile devices
Advance Property Exposure has developed software that will send building information to multiple mobile devices to aid first responders. Firefighter Michael Sullivan of the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group called the system a game-changer for first responders that will "put us in the correct spot faster." CTV.ca (Canada) (9/28)
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Other News
Better to trust the man who is frequently in error than the one who is never in doubt."
-- Eric Sevareid,
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