Next Generation 112 (NG112) incorporates new technologies to revolutionise the work of emergency services and shift from emergency calls to emergency communications
Emergency services risk missing out on the benefits of current tech developments: as we turn more and more to communication methods like messenger services, emergency services remain only reachable by voice telephone calls.
The concept of NG112 relies on developing a technical architecture that will integrate new technologies with emergency services by moving communications to internet-based protocols. Emergency response centres would thus be prepared to receive not just voice, but real-time text, photos, video calls and other data.
Not only can NG112 revolutionise the way citizens communicate with emergency services, but the concept also calls for interconnecting emergency services organisations by creating dedicated networks that will provide new possibilities and improvement of their working processes. Accessing all these new modalities of communications would provide emergency responders invaluable insight into the situation they are dealing with, greatly improving their work and results.
In April 2019, EENA launched a pilot project focused on demonstrating Next Generation’s 112 use in real-life environments. The project brings together international consortia where partners will test the technical architecture enabling NG112 in different European countries.
Emergency services from Austria, Italy, Denmark, Croatia and Turkey have worked to showcase how voice and data can be delivered to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in a full Internet-based Protocol (IP) environment, following international standards to develop and test different NG112 architecture modules.
First results achieved by the Austrian-Italian-Danish consortium CELESTE (Cross-border Esinet and LoST Emergency Services Testing) focus on the connectivity and routing capabilities within the NG112 architecture across international borders.
Already existing Next Generation emergency communications are typically bound to their country of origin. But neighbouring countries running systems based on standardised architecture could also be able to connect with each other, adapting to a reality that is increasingly mobile and cross-borders. With this in mind, CELESTE tested both regional and international settings for emergency communications.
The consortium succeeded at establishing emergency communications that included voice, video, and chat. On top of this, results of the project successfully proved an architecture enabling a re-routing across different countries and telecommunications vendors, paving the way for more connected emergency services.
The architecture behind moving forward from emergency calls to “emergency communications” can only result in an optimised, more efficient response. Technology is bringing the future closer than ever, and the possibilities coming with it can be, literally, life-saving.