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December 5, 2012
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News for emergency communications and response professionals

  Making the Call 
  • Investigation finds multiple 9-1-1 outages in D.C. region
    At least 11 outages have occurred since June 2010 in Verizon's 9-1-1 system serving the Washington, D.C., area, according to a Washington Post investigation. The incidents reportedly prompted officials to consider whether there was an underlying problem in the nation’s emergency-response system, and the report traced the causes to equipment maintenance issues, technical problems and unheeded automatic alarms. The outages have spurred a number of investigations, but Verizon officials say that overall the system is reliable. The Washington Post (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FCC tests location technologies in San Francisco buildings
    A Federal Communications Commission advisory committee is using 80 buildings in the San Francisco area to test the accuracy of available technologies that help first responders locate the origin of 9-1-1 cellphone calls made from inside a structure. An assessment report should be ready by March and could be used to create benchmarks for location technologies. Government Computer News (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Policy Pulse 
  • NENA gives app developers insight into 9-1-1 limitations
    Many 9-1-1 call centers are in the telephone age and do not have the technology to handle communication from broadband texting or photo applications, according to NENA's director of government affairs Trey Forgety. NENA and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials created the Public Safety Considerations for Smartphone App Developers guidelines to provide companies with information on the limitations of call centers. Meanwhile, the world is changing quickly, NENA CEO Brian Fontes said. "In today's world most people communicate in a nonvoice context, so it's essential our 9-1-1 systems keep pace with 21st-century technology to be able to receive information in the way sender is sending it." InformationWeek (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pa. city's public safety could suffer with budget cuts
    The Bethlehem, Pa., police chief and other safety officials are urging the City Council not to go through with $500,000 in possible cuts to the public safety budget. The cuts would affect the police and fire departments, EMS services and the 9-1-1 dispatch center, and could extend response times to emergency calls and result in an increase in crime, safety officials told the council. The Express-Times (Easton-Bethlehem, Pa.) (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation Insights 
  • WISPA challenges 4.9 GHz interference claims in comments to FCC
    The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association is calling for an independent study to determine whether unlicensed spectrum in the 4.9 GHz band can be used for commercial mobile-broadband services without causing interference for public-safety operators. "By using geolocation database capabilities and ensuring that public safety users have priority access during times of incidents, the concerns of those opposing or suggesting deferral of consideration for secondary use can be alleviated," the group wrote in comments to the Federal Communications Commission. FierceBroadbandWireless (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mont. training center acquires 4 new fire simulators
    The Rocky Mountain Emergency Services Training Center in Helena, Mont., recently acquired four simulators that will provide training for fires involving Black Hawk helicopters, automobiles, structures and hazardous materials. The training center could become one of the top firefighting training facilities in the U.S. because of the acquisition, officials said. Ravalli Republic (Hamilton, Mont.) (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
The forceps of our minds are clumsy things and crush the truth a little in the course of taking hold of it."
--H.G. Wells,
British author


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