The Next Generation 9-1-1 concept has brought a multitude of new ideas to the PSAP in the United States – one of those being the Text-to-911 feature. Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message to reach 9-1-1 emergency dispatchers from your mobile phone or device. It’s currently only available in certain locations, but the FCC encourages emergency call centers to begin accepting texts.

Here are four things you should know about capturing Text-to-911 conversations:

  1. The FCC says that it is up to each individual PSAP to decide the particular method in which to implement and deploy text-to-911 technology. No hand holding here. PSAP’s must implement the technology to receive texts in the first place, which comes from their telecom provider. Once the technology is implemented, then they must seek out recording specialists to help them ensure they’re capturing these communications. Remember to consider the upkeep and maintenance you would want for this kind of software.
  2. Make sure your platform is optimized for incident reconstruction. If your platform links and synchronizes text interaction recordings with all other forms of communication, this will make sure your incident reconstruction can include text messages when evaluating the situation.
  3. Go beyond capturing just 911 texts. The associated metadata like called ID, date/time stamp, and caller location are all critical to the incident. Being able to search for, retrieve, export, save, and share text conversations for investigations gives comprehensive insight into who texted, where, when, and what was said.
  4. Make sure your platform is in compliance with NENA standards. Logging message content as well as the texter’s phone number, location, and timestamp follows NENA i3, MSRP (Message Session Recording Protocol), and ATIS J-STD-110 standards. This metadata can be used (along with keywords contained in the text), to search for and retrieve text interactions.

Text-to-911 is an important milestone on the transition path to NG9-1-1. Current efforts are underway to make this service more widely available to provide more access to 911 for people with disabilities and those in situations when it is dangerous to make a voice call to request help.

If you’re looking for a platform that complies with standards and manages multimedia incident information like text-to-911, Wilmac’s public safety solutions powered by NICE Inform are a good place to start. With more direct, certified integrations and integrated multimedia logging, your PSAP will be able to respond to 9-1-1 texts and manage all multimedia recordings in one place. Book a demo with our experts to see NICE Inform in action.