SAFECOM and NCSWIC Develop Incident-Related Imagery Impacts 101


Author: Josh Black, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Joint SAFECOM-NCSWIC NG911 Working Group Federal Lead

New technologies in 911 centers are enabling the public to exchange multimedia (e.g., photos, videos, text messages) with 911 centers, which can improve situational awareness and inform emergency response efforts. However, this data can impact 911 operations, resources, and personnel.

Telecommunicators may need to analyze multimedia during voice calls, communicate through text messaging, and conduct two-way video calls from the public. There are a multitude of factors 911 officials will need to consider before implementing multimedia capabilities. Public safety agencies and 911 centers will need to develop plans, policies, and procedures to prepare for new technologies and ensure interoperability across systems.

To address this issue, the Joint SAFECOM and National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) Next Generation 911 (NG911) Working Group developed the NG911 Incident-Related Imagery Impacts 101 to provide public safety and emergency communications leadership with considerations for addressing incident-related imagery, such as establishing data management policies and procedures, assessing training and educational requirements, supporting staff wellness, and assessing recruitment and retention polices. Public safety stakeholders can use this document to familiarize themselves with emerging technologies in 911 centers and help plan for incident-related imagery.

D. Jeremy DeMar, SAFECOM and NCSWIC NG911 Working Group Vice Chair and Executive Director, Mountain Valley Emergency Communications stated, “The emergency communications profession is one of constant technological change. The arrival of incident-related imagery will require center leadership to adjust hiring practices, alter on-boarding and in-service training curriculum, reinforce and better define critical information storage requirements, and make available greater levels of critical incident stress management and trauma support to its personnel. These are just a few of the reasons why the “NG911 Incident-Related Imagery Impacts 101” document is so critical to leaders of the Nation’s emergency communications centers.”

Stakeholders are encouraged to share this document with their respective networks. For questions about the NG911 Incident-Related Imagery Impacts 101, please contact ng911wg@cisa.dhs.gov or visit cisa.gov/safecom/next-generation-911 for additional SAFECOM and NCSWIC NG911 resources.