The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board (TECB) recently received two national awards highlighting its innovative and forward-looking approach to providing Tennesseans with the highest level of 911 service.
The NG911 Institute, a Washington, D.C. based not-for-profit that promotes more effective 911 services across the nation, presented TECB with its 2017 Outstanding 911 Call Center/Program Award during NG911’s 14th Annual Honor Awards in February. The award recognizes either a 911 call center or a state or regional 911 program for excellence in serving the public, including the handling of emergency situations and the deployment and management of new technology.
In April 2017, TECB was honored at the National Forum on Public Safety and Community Development with the inaugural “Leading the Way” award by the 911 Education Foundation, a nonprofit subsidiary of the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCert). The award recognizes a public agency or jurisdiction that has stepped forward and demonstrated thoughtful and diligent leadership in advancing the goal of nationwide adoption and implementation of Next Generation (IP-based) 911 calling access by the year 2020.
“The Board is honored to have received these national recognitions for its efforts,” said TECB Executive Director Curtis Sutton. “TECB is dedicated to ensuring that our state’s telecommunicators are providing Tennesseans with the best possible 911 service. We will continue to work with our industry partners to employ the most efficient and effective 911 technology.”
As a national leader in emergency communications, the TECB is consistently improving 911 in Tennessee. Located within the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance, TECB is a self-funded nine-member board created to establish emergency communications for citizens across the state and assist emergency communications districts (ECDs) in the areas of management, operations, and accountability.
The centerpiece of TECB’s mission is the Next Generation 911, known as NG911, which involves the construction and management of a secure and redundant Internet protocol network that will improve 911 call delivery and enhance interoperability between ECDs. The Next Generation Project will ensure faster delivery of information between communications districts, enhance interoperability, allow for photos and videos to be sent, and improve call delivery to all 911 centers in the state.
The completion of NG911 will ultimately result in the quicker and more reliable deployment of emergency response services. Currently, there are approximately 275,000 calls each month traveling across the NG911 network. Ninety-nine of Tennessee’s 142 public safety answering points (PSAPS), along with all wireless carriers operating in the state, are live on the NG911 network.
TECB has also partnered with the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) to offer several training programs to 911 professionals throughout the state. These programs include the 911 Center Supervisor and Center Training Officer courses, Tactical Dispatch, Disability Awareness, Cyber Security in the PSAP, and Addressing for 911. The board also created a training coordinator position and is in the process of providing an online training program to Tennessee’s 911 professionals.
For more information on the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board and NG911, please visit http://tn.gov/commerce/section/E911.