NG112 Project web square

Next Generation 112, now

At the EENA Conference 2019, EENA announced the launch of a new project to modernise how citizens can contact emergency services, as well as how emergency organisations communicate with each other. The year-long pilot project – Launching the Deployment of Next Generation 112 (NG112) – will demonstrate how technologies we use every day such as video calls, text chat and home speakers can be integrated into emergency response in different countries.

NG112 is all about making use of Internet Protocol (IP) communications. IP calls can carry more varied data than traditional calls. Most emergency services are currently limited to receiving just voice, but NG112 would mean that they could also receive location information, text, photos, video calls and other data.

On top of this, NG112 would also mean that emergency services call centres (Public Safety Answering Points) can be interconnected. For example, if there is an overload of calls or if one centre becomes unavailable, emergency calls can be redirected to another. Surprisingly, in most countries this is not currently possible.

Tech industries including the Internet of Things, Smart Cities and 5G are thriving in Europe and there is lifesaving role for them in Next Generation emergency response. The fields are seeing multiple high-level investments, with the European Commission earmarking 700 million euros for the 5G partnership[1] and the EIP-SCC pledging 1 billion euros to 300 smart cities by 2020[2]. Embracing these established technologies in the emergency field will help to create more efficient, accessible and flexible emergency services.

But despite being tried, tested and deployed over in the USA and Canada, Next Generation 112 is almost non-existent in Europe, where most emergency services can only be reached by voice call. Emergency services can’t take advantage of the value of these tech industries, because they simply aren’t prepared to receive the data.

As well as missing out on the benefits, as these tech industries continue to grow, emergency services risk becoming isolated as one of the only services accessible exclusively by traditional phone call. As we turn more and more to communication methods like messenger services[3], emergency services risk becoming completely out of touch with everyday communications. The ‘future’ is already here, but we are not embracing it. EENA plans to change all that.


EENA’s new project will test and deploy the NG112 architecture in different European countries. But why do we need it?

Implementing NG112 will address many difficulties faced by emergency services and citizens. Situations proposed to be tested during the project include automatically delivering caller location, calling using connected objects and potentially even broadcasting public warning messages through home speakers. By testing video or text communications, the NG112 project could also help address the needs of the 80 million people with disabilities in Europe[4]. Add to this that networks between emergency centres can be deployed, improving processes with new possibilities, such as routing calls based on language spoken.

Alongside the lifesaving benefits of NG112 comes a growing necessity to switch to internet-based emergency communications, as the Public Switched Telephone Network for traditional voice calls will soon be phased out. With the NG112 project, EENA is addressing this need to begin moving emergency communications to SIP-based systems.

A call for applications has been launched to join EENA’s new project. Countries wishing to apply should create their own consortium. As SIP-enabled phones for emergency calls have already been successful in controlled situations, EENA’s new project will focus on demonstrating their use in more real-life environments. The results from the pilot project will therefore help to build the foundations for practical deployment of NG112, and therefore the future of emergency call-handling in Europe.

By Rose Michael, Knowledge Officer, EENA.

References:

[1]  European Commission

[2]  EIP-SCC

[3] Digital Information World

[4] European Disability Forum

NG112 Call applications

NG112 project: call for applications

Today at the EENA Conference 2019, EENA announced a call for applications for a new project – Launching the Deployment of Next Generation 112 (NG112) – to both modernise how citizens can reach help in case of emergency and to interconnect emergency services. Consortium, including public authorities and middle-tier companies, are invited to apply. The year-long project will build the foundations for practical deployment of NG112 and the future of emergency call-handling in Europe.

NG112 is about making it possible for emergency services to receive not just voice, but location information, real-time text, photos, video calls and other data. For this, emergency services have to modernise their communications technology and open them to internet-based communications. There is a growing necessity to switch to internet-based emergency communications, as the Public Switched Telephone Network for traditional voice calls will soon be phased out.

EENA’s new project will test and deploy the NG112 architecture in different European countries. It will focus on demonstrating its use in real-life environments.

Proposed test situations include routing based on location, video and real-time text communications, calls through connected objects and broadcast of public warning messages through home speakers. Consult the project description for more information. The use cases are not exhaustive; interested participants are invited to propose additional test situations.

Read about the project in the press here.

In order to apply for the project, consortia must ensure that they can test a full NG112 call between user equipment and a PSAP based on international standards. Each consortium must involve at least one PSAP.

Different types of stakeholders may be needed, including:

  • Device providers
  • Telecommunications providers
  • NG112 architecture components
  • CAD providers
  • Emergency services organisations

Interested participants should email Cristina Lumbreras, [email protected] before 15 June 2019. Full details on the call for application and the information required are available in the call for proposals.

NG112 Project web square

NG112 Plugtests

Text messages, pictures and videos are shared instantly with friends and colleagues around the world, and social networks have become a media by themselves. But, for the time being, most European emergency services can only be reached through the public switched telephony or mobile networks.

All over the world, citizens expect to be able to contact emergency services with technologies they use to communicate every day. Hence, a technical architecture is needed to resolve these issues – the “Next Generation 112 architecture (NG112)”.

NG112 addresses three major objectives:

  1. Communication between citizens and emergency services
  2. Interoperability between emergency services
  3. Open Standards approach

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), in partnership with EENA (the European Emergency Number Association), organised the third Next Generation (NG112) Emergency Services Plugtests™ event. This event was hosted by ETSI, from 28 January to 1 February 2019 in Sophia Antipolis, France.

The aim of the event was to trial independently and jointly all components of the 112 communication chain based on Next Generation networks. Different topics were addressed, including Location Based Emergency Call Routing, Policy Based Emergency Call Routing, and Next Generation Media Types.

The results of the tests show that the NG112 technology is mature and that a large number of vendors provide the various elements of the NG112 equipment chain and that those elements interoperate with each other. Thus providing a large choice of innovative products to build next generation emergency communication solutions. With the upcoming publication of ETSI TS 103 479 and its accompanying standards, the conditions for procurement and deployment are reached.

Find more in the event’s report, prepared by ETSI.

The Role of Geographic Information Systems in Next Generation 112

NG112 and the new Emergency Services Networks Landscape

NG112: Security & Privacy Issues

NG112 Emergency Services Plugtest 2017 – Report by ETSI

drone

Drones help search and rescue teams find victims faster, new study shows

Search and rescue teams found simulated victims faster when they used drones for help, a new study released today finds. The study concludes that drones offer enormous potential to help search and rescue (SAR) efforts, and rescue squads need to develop new standards, tactics and protocols to take full advantage of drones’ aerial perspective.

These key findings were part of the Drone Efficacy Study, a report issued today by DJI, the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) and Black Channel.

“The potential for drones to save lives is clear – at least 160 people have been rescued by drones around the world – but the science of how to best use drones for public safety is still in its infancy,” said study co-author Romeo Durscher, DJI Director of Public Safety Integration. “Unlike ground-based SAR, which has refined its methods for decades, there is no playbook for drone SAR. We’re excited to be among the first groups of researchers to start writing that playbook, because our work can help save more lives.”

ABOUT THE STUDY

The study sent randomly-selected teams of searchers to find simulated victims in rocky fields and cliff edges in Ireland and Wales. Thirty teams used off-the-shelf drones with standard visual cameras, while another 20 teams searched on foot using traditional protocols. Seventeen ground search teams found their victims, compared to 23 drone teams, indicating that drone-assisted SAR protocols and procedures have not advanced enough to maximize the benefits of the technology. However, the drone searchers found their victims an average of 191 seconds faster, or more than three minutes.

“Searchers in the study said finding a victim with a drone was harder than they expected, which shows why it is vital for the SAR community to develop best standards for how to use drones,” said Alfonso Zamarro, EENA Drones Activities Manager. “What patterns should drones fly? What altitude provides the best coverage? What sensors are best for spotting missing people? Which areas are best searched by ground forces, and which by drones? Answering these questions won’t be easy, but it will have a powerful impact.”

“Four years ago, drone technology was still so primitive that it showed little value in early studies. Today, even off-the-shelf drones are powerful enough to help SAR crews find victims faster than traditional search strategies,” said Gloria Crispino, Black Channel CEO. “We need to rigorously study how public safety agencies can best deploy their drones in conjunction with ground personnel, and how to ensure they communicate their findings to help bring every search to a fast, safe and successful conclusion.”

The study comes two years after DJI, EENA and Black Channel collaborated on research in Ireland as well as Italy’s Dolomite Mountains which showed that a properly-equipped drone could find victims faster than human searchers, and take additional active steps to achieve a successful rescue. Details on that work are available at this link.

For additional information, please contact:

DJI: Adam Lisberg, Corporate Communication Director – [email protected]
EENA: Beatriz Peon, Media and Communications Manager – [email protected]
Black Channel: Joe Eyerman, Co-Founder, [email protected]

About DJI
DJI is a global leader in developing and manufacturing civilian drones and aerial imaging technology for personal and professional use. DJI was founded and is run by people with a passion for remote-controlled helicopters and experts in flight-control technology and camera stabilization. The company is dedicated to making aerial photography and filmmaking equipment and platforms more accessible, reliable and easier to use for creators and innovators around the world. DJI’s global operations currently span across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and its revolutionary products and solutions have been chosen by customers in over 100 countries for applications in filmmaking, construction, inspection, emergency response, agriculture, conservation and many other industries.


About EENA
The European Emergency Number Association (EENA) is a Brussels-based NGO and established in 1999. Our main strategic mission is to improve the responses made by emergency services on behalf of citizens, principally when the pan-European emergency number (112) is used. As an NGO, EENA is an independent and impartial organisation and does not seek to represent the interests of any one organisation, technology or product.

Tactically, this manifests itself with the creation of several engagement platforms (conferences, workshops, working groups, web meetings) to bring the supply-side (vendors, manufacturers, integrators) and the demand-side (FRs, ESOs, Government Ministries, Regulators etc) together with a view to discussing legal, technical and operational matters in a thought-leadership and impactful style. EENA has c1300 ESOs from 80 countries in its network, whilst 90 vendors and manufacturers make up the supply-side equation.


About Black Channel
Black Channel is an Irish research firm specializing in the application of extreme statistics – the use of state-of-the-science study designs conducted in remote and challenging locations. Black Channel draws on field clinical research to design and implement evaluations of public safety technologies to provide evidence to support the transition of new technologies into the first responder mission. Black Channel has been conducting extreme statistics in support of the first responder mission since 2014 and has conducted evaluations of the value of drones for search and rescue in remote locations, cliffs, mountains, and glaciers in Ireland, Italy, and Wales. The Black Channel study designs are intended to produce regulatory grade results.

Apps

European project redefines borders for emergency apps


Emergency apps working everywhere in Europe:
a new era for emergency services


The pan-European project to change the emergency apps landscape by allowing cross-border interconnections kicks off in Madrid on 11 September. Meet the countries that will join this pilot programme and push forward safety in Europe.

What is this all about?

Unfortunately, Europe has experienced many crises recently, from forest fires and earthquakes to terrorist attacks and bridge collapses. Reaching rescuers quickly in such scenarios is crucial. For that, many Europeans rely on emergency apps, allowing them to do so with a click of a button. It does make sense: we count on apps to order food, find transport, connect with our friends… Why not to find help the moment we need it most?

So what is the issue?

In a Europe where people travel more and more, a problem remains: an app from country X does not work in country Y. What does this mean? You should either download several apps or give up and accept that your app can only be helpful if you stay put. The 4 freedoms of the EU are freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital. Could we please add safety as the 5th?

Worry not: the PEMEA project to the rescue

What’s PEMEA? It sounds too technical but stay with us: PEMEA (the Pan-European Mobile Emergency App) is a technical architecture that allows emergency apps to interconnect with each other. As a result, an app from one country can be operational in another. People need to download the app of their country of residence: it will serve them anywhere in Europe.

PEMEA is not new – it is already a European Standard. But there is distance between theory and practice. That is why EENA has joined forces with Beta 80 Group and Deveryware to move things forward by launching real-world deployments, making PEMEA a reality.

Meet the protagonists

After a call for applications, we are very happy to announce the successful applicants to join this adventure:

  • The Zachranka App, Czech Republic
  • mySTART+, France
  • 112 Suomi, Finland
  • 112 Where Are You, Italy
  • Smart 112 Mobile, Monaco
  • 112 App NL, the Netherlands
  • Emergency App from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • SOS Deiak, Basque Country, Spain
  • 112 Región de Murcia , Murcia, Spain
  • My 112, Spain
  • Omnitor App, Sweden
  • SOS Alarm, Sweden

The project will kick-off on 11 September in Madrid, where participants will meet to define the next steps that will lead to emergency apps being interconnected across borders.

For more information, you can reach out to Cristina Lumbreras, EENA Technical Director, at [email protected].


The PEMEA pilot programme is an ambitious one, involving many different people, organisations and companies. Without them, none of it would be possible. So, we would like to give special thanks to all of them.

Apps

Emergency apps: Join pan-European project

Join the project that will transform the landscape of emergency apps

Emergency apps are a great asset for citizens as they provide crucial information to rescuers. But an app deployed in country X doesn’t work in country Y. In a Europe where people travel more and more (and where tech allows for your fridge to talk to your phone) is this the best we can do?

MEET PEMEA

In April, EENA together with Beta 80 and Deveryware, and with the support of the Developers Alliance, announced the PEMEA Pilot Project. In simple words, the PEMEA (Pan-European Mobile Emergency Application) architecture allows emergency apps to interconnect with each other so that a citizen in danger can use them anywhere in Europe.

PEMEA is not new – it is already a European standard. But for the first time, a project will focus on real world deployments, driving change on the ground. And we want you to be a part of it!

THE PLACE TO BE FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES & APP DEVELOPERS

European emergency services that would like to receive information from the PEMEA network, as well as emergency app developers are invited to join the project. How? We’ve made it easy: All you need to do is send an email to Cristina Lumbreras, EENA Technical Director, at [email protected].

STILL UNCERTAIN? JOIN THE WEBINAR

Do you still have questions? Then join us to get your answers at a dedicated webinar:

  • Date: 6 June 2018
  • Time: 10:00 CET (Brussels time)
  • How to join: simply contact Cristina Lumbreras at [email protected].

USEFUL LINKS

Technology

NG112 & Mobile Network Operators – What’s there to know?

You have heard it many times: Next Generation 112 is already here. But what is the impact of NG112 on the work of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)?

EENA is happy to invite you to a dedicated webinar explaining all there is to know about the concept of NG112 and what it means for MNOs. Whether you’d like to hear from our experts or use this platform to ask any questions you might have, one thing is for sure: this webinar is not to be missed by MNOs.

SPEAKERS
Fidel Liberal and Wolfgang Kampichler.

WHEN
22 March at 14:00-15:30 (Brussels time)

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS
Feel free to reach out to Cristina Lumbreras at [email protected].

Other

Emergency services expertise in one place

BIG WELCOME TO THE EENA COMMITTEE CHAIRS & MEMBERS

Emergency services are under constant change. Emerging trends and technologies, new players in crisis management, and the adoption of new communication channels from citizens have made the sharing of expertise more needed than ever.

The EENA Committees have become a key point in this process. The Operations and Technical Committees are tasked with the sharing of expertise, mainly via added-value documents and dedicated webinars, covering topics from next generation 112 and eCall, to social media in crises and emergency apps.

WHAT’S COMING UP

We all know it: sharing is caring. That’s why we decided to make it even simpler for 2018: the EENA Operations and Technical Committees are merged into one centralised group: the EENA Tech & Ops Committee!

Are you working in the field of emergency services? Then make sure to stay tuned! The EENA Tech & Ops Committee has exciting plans for 2018 including new publications and webinars, all with the aim to share knowledge among the public safety community.

WHAT’S COMING UP

We all know it: sharing is caring! That’s why things are getting simpler in 2018: the EENA Operations and Technical Committees are merging into one centralised group: the EENA Tech & Ops Committee!

Are you working in the field of emergency services? Then stay tuned! The EENA Tech & Ops Committee has exciting plans for 2018 including new publications and webinars, all with the aim to share expertise among the public safety community.

 

MEET OUR NEW CHAIRS & MEMBERS

But what is a platform without talented people involved? That’s why EENA would like to give a big welcome to the Tech & Ops Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs:

We are looking forward to debate the latest emergency services topics with all of you. But until then, do not hesitate to share your questions or comments with Cristina Lumbreras, EENA Technical Director, at [email protected].

eCall Key Performance Indicators

A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE FOR PUBLIC AUTHORITIES AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED IN THE ECALL SERVICE.

EENA is happy to present you the “eCall Key Performance Indicators” document.

eCall is about to become a reality everywhere in the European Union. But how can we guarantee high quality performance of the service?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a powerful tool helping to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the service, define objectives and measure the service’s performance against those objectives.

The document covers the eCall architecture before going into the subject of KPIs. Moreover, it examines factors influencing those KPIs, such as Mobile Network Operators and car manufacturers. Lastly, it provides concrete recommendations for stakeholders.

A big thank you to Luca Bergonzi, Chair of the EENA Operations Committee, for his time and great contributions to this document.