System Design Document



The 9-1-1 system was introduced in the US by the Intelligent Transportation System in 1968 as a single number to be used nationwide by the citizens to request emergency assistance (Government). The number was intended to give the public a fast and easy access to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). The system was initially designed only to report a fire but was later changed to address to any form of emergency in 1973. The 9-1-1 system design has undergone major transformations since its introduction to improving its efficiency and performance. However, with the heightened rate of technology advancement, the system still needs several modifications as discussed later in this paper.


According to US Government press, Today’s 9-1-1 system uses voices communication by virtually all of their calls via telephones over analog lines or radio signals for the few advanced. This technology is outdated and needs a major transformation to current advanced modes of communication that can transmit both voice, text and video information from different types of communication devices sent over IP networks (Katzan). In addition to that, the improvement will enhance automatic data sharing between different office stations in the emergency department. Therefore, the initial time spent over manual transmission (voice) would be cut by over 90%.


The current 9-1-1 system also experiences difficulties especially when simultaneous emergencies occur within a given area. In this case, the callers will be routed through selective legacy routers that will put other callers on hold as they attend to the emergencies one by one. However, with the advancement of technology and use of IP for communication, the callers will be routed automatically based on their geographical location thus deployment of the nearest officers to attend to the given emergency. From this scenario, we realize that PSAPs will be able to control call congestion treatment that makes callers have access to a direct line and avoid busy signals.


On the other hand, the current 9-1-1 system is being outpaced by emerging technologies that make it go through constant adaptation to the new system that is slow and costly to the government. New communication technologies need ‘plug and play' access and interfaces in the office for easy sharing of information (Rosenblatt and Cashman). There is also a need for a more flexible and easily controlled 9-1-1 system that could incorporate other emergency services like emergency management and transport operations. In addition to that, the system should also add several services to their system; first, the USDOT NG9-1-1 system should add capabilities to support 9-1-1 access to multiple formats for all current and emerging service providers in a secure environment. Next, the system should add capabilities to enable interoperable information sharing with all organizations involved in the emergency response and finally add increased flexibility for 9-1-1 governing authority.




The aforementioned modifications suggested in the paper will come in handy for emergency response team and the public as a whole because there will be a more stable system with a swift response with the utilization of the IP-based technologies. Crime rates will also significantly reduce because the emergency response systems will be linked to the police department. Therefore, there will be a faster response in case of any criminal occurrence.