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January 2, 2013
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News for emergency communications and response professionals

  Making the Call 
  • 2012: Tech advances, tough questions and important legislation
    Strong storms in 2012 exposed weaknesses in the nation's emergency communications system, prompting a federal probe. More steps were taken to allow texting emergency information via the 9-1-1 system, and new technology allowed easier location of firefighters in burning buildings. Most important, a new federal law was signed paving the path for a nationwide broadband communications network for public safety. Urgent Communications/Urgent Matters blog (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CDC finds 36% of U.S. homes with just a mobile phone
    Landline use continued to slide in the U.S. over the first half of the year with 35.8% of homes carrying only a wireless phone subscription, according to a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which says it tracks the trend in order to conduct more accurate surveys. The CDC also found an additional 15.9% own a landline connection but rarely, if ever, use it. Among those ages 25 to 29, 60% resided in homes without a landline. GigaOm (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Pulse 
  • N.J. county to add 9-1-1 text capability
    Dispatchers in New Jersey's Camden County will be ready this summer to read and answer text messages, and they will be able to determine the sender's location if the sending phone is equipped with GPS technology, officials say. The new technology will also facilitate communication with the 34 million Americans who have impaired hearing or speech, NENA CEO Brian Fontes says. "This is good news," Fontes said. WHYY-TV/WHYY-FM (Philadelphia) (12/27), The Philadelphia Inquirer (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Out with the new, in with the old dispatch system in Md. county
    Anne Arundel County, Md., will modernize its old emergency dispatch system and pull the plug on a new system introduced just more than a year ago that was used for only three weeks. Dispatchers said the new system was difficult to use, did not properly locate officers on emergency calls and did not accurately match locations and addresses. Police officers reported difficulty in accessing address-specific call history, and the system did not always identify the closest available fire and emergency medical units. The Baltimore Sun (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Innovation Insights 
  • Military looks to boost wireless connectivity speed and range
    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a project to develop wireless communication technology that supports speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second in all weather conditions at a range of 125 miles in the air and 60 miles ground-to-air. The agency will request proposals for meeting the standards and review ideas Jan. 13 and "the new standard has the potential to completely change the industry," according to this article. (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Wellness program helps San Diego police cope with stress
    The San Diego Police Department's wellness program is reducing stress, psychological problems and marital issues for hundreds of officers and family members. The program offers peer support, psychological and chaplain services, and training programs. Sgt. Tod Bassett, a member of the wellness unit, said the goal is to help people "before an incident occurs that we can't fix." KGTV-TV (San Diego) (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  NENA News 
  • NENA 2013 call for presentations now open
    Planning for NENA 2013 is well under way, and the conference team wants your ideas to help round out the program.

    Attendees of our conference are always looking for new and better ways of doing things in their professional and personal lives. Feedback from previous conferences shows that attendees expect to walk out of each breakout with key takeaways that are new and can be immediately implemented when they return to their offices.

    Submit your great ideas by Jan. 15, 2013. The online submission form for session abstracts is available at Download and review the NENA 2013 Call for Papers User Guide for step-by-step proposal submission instructions. 

    Learn more.

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Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them."
--Rose Kennedy,
American philanthropist

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