August 30, 2022
Next Generation 9-1-1 improves resiliency and the ability to share information throughout Maryland and neighboring states.
The Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services and AT&T* successfully launched AT&T ESInet™ as part of a total upgrade to the county’s 9-1-1 operations center. The new 9-1-1 system represents an industry transformation that will enhance public safety by acknowledging and catering to residents’ rapidly evolving demands, products, lifestyles, and technologies.
In early 2018, taking advantage of an established strong alliance known as ESCA (Eastern Shore Communications Alliance), Queen Anne’s County and neighboring ESCA counties began evaluating Next Generation 9-1-1 vendors that could meet their needs. After an extensive evaluation, all nine counties on the Eastern Shore decided to go with AT&T ESInet™, and Queen Anne’s, as the lead on the project, signed the Master Contract in December 2020.
One of the advantages of working together on this project is that all Eastern Shore 9-1-1 operation centers will use the same system, which will improve the ability to communicate and share information. “Although Queen Anne’s County is the first to migrate over to the new system, the rest of the eastern shore isn’t far behind,” said Scott Haas, Director of Department of Emergency Services, Queen Anne’s County.”
Maryland residents demand and expect 9-1-1 emergency services to be reliable and efficient. Next-generation technology is required to keep up with this increasingly complex public safety function – improving wireless caller location, accommodating incoming text/video, and managing crisis-driven call overflows. Maryland counties are leading the way in building a statewide Next Generation 9-1-1 system to equip public safety agencies and first responders with 21st-century tools and technology to protect residents and save lives.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Commission to Advance NG911 across Maryland, a 2018 MACo Legislative Initiative, was established to update state laws and the 9-1-1 financing system to provide the flexibility and resources needed for the deployment of a statewide NG911 system. In 2019, the General Assembly passed landmark legislation to update state laws and the 9-1-1 financing system to provide the flexibility and resources needed to deploy a statewide NG911 system.
The Commission, chaired by Senator Cheryl Kagan, included 9-1-1 directors, technology and telecommunications industry representatives, cybersecurity professionals, a bipartisan group of legislators, and other stakeholders to assure a smooth and equitable transition to NG911.
As a result of the Commission’s work, Maryland passed several laws to bolster the framework and resources to guide a successful statewide transition to NG911, enhancing public safety communications in Maryland and our local communities. Additionally, the Commission’s work led to several laws to bolster the framework and resources to guide a successful statewide transition to NG911, enhancing public safety communications across the state.
“Thanks to the Maryland 911 Board and State Senator Cheryl Kagan for leading the charge to change the law allowing 9-1-1 centers in the State to obtain additional funding to migrate to Next Generation 9-1-1 and have the funds to maintain these services. “The funding, provided by the Maryland 9-1-1 Board as part of the statewide migration of the 24 9-1-1 centers across the state to Next Generation 9-1-1, did not impact our local county budget.”
*AT&T is a MACo Platinum Corporate Partner.