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NG9-1-1: The dates have changed but the urgency remains

Next Generation 911 (NG9-1-1) services will provide Canadians with access to new and innovative emergency services and capabilities. These services are enabled by the prevalence of mobile devices and the evolution of telecommunications networks. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is mandating 911 stakeholders complete necessary system upgrades to prepare for NG9-1-1 and improve overall public safety (CRTC, 2017)

In response to recent global events and other impacting factors, the CRTC has revised the key dates for the NG9-1-1 roll-out:

The dates shown are interim and there will be a public proceeding later in the fall to formally establish new deadlines (CRTC, Apr 8, 2020)

Don’t be mistaken - the new deadlines are not an opportunity to slow down and relax. NG9-1-1 must be fully functional by the March 30, 2024 decommissioning date and there is a lot of work to be done. Organizations should use this time wisely to develop budgets and secure approvals for equipment and software and provide ample time for training and the implementation of a new NG9-1-1 system. Data conversion and improvement projects are often lengthy. Good planning and effective time management ensures the approach to March 30, 2024 is steady and pain free as timelines will become shorter and resources are exhausted.

These key NG9-1-1 dates are important for planning purposes, but the devil is in the details. Through Esri Canada’s  NG9-1-1 Readiness Assessment, the City of Guelph identified several data management challenges facing municipalities.

Click here to see what Guelph learned from their NG9-1-1 Readiness Assessment

NG9-1-1 increases the reliance on accurate and up to date GIS data so municipalities need to evaluate their data management readiness.  Can you answer ‘yes’ to the following questions?

  1. Do your managers and executive leaders understand the GIS data implications for NG9-1-1?
  2. Do you know which layers are mandatory? Furthermore, do you understand the level of data accuracy required and the financial costs involved?
  3. Is this data identified as required for 9-1-1 in departmental policy and procedures manuals?
  4. Do data managers have defined job performance criteria or objectives associated to NG9-1-1?
  5. Do GIS technicians and technologists understand the importance of this data (e.g. is it specified in job descriptions)?
  6. Do corporate IT policies and procedures have adequate access and backup safeguards for GIS data?

If you answered ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ to any of the questions above, you may want to consider completing the NG9-1-1 Readiness Assessment to analyze how your emergency response GIS data is managed and identify your organization’s next steps in preparation for NG9-1-1.

The team at Esri Canada can help with your readiness assessment and next steps! Contact us today to learn more.

This blog is co-authored by Esri Canada’s NG9-1-1 consultant, Barry Costello, and Holly Barkwell, NENA Canadian Regional Director at BH Group Inc.

About the Author

Barry Costello is a consultant assisting the New Business Development team at Esri Canada, and dedicated to the Next Generation 911 initiative. He brings over four decades of experience in spatial technology with expertise in GIS management, Parcel (owned and assessment), Forestry and Healthcare sectors. Barry has consulted on many projects across Canada and brings a diverse perspective with international experience from the U.S., Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Brazil and New Zealand. In his spare time, Barry loves to sail and keeps humble by toiling on the golf course. Barry Costello resides in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.