The Regional 9-1-1 call centre, also known as a PSAP (Public Service Answering Point) is located and staffed within the Halton Regional Police Service. This centre is the primary 9-1-1 answering point for callers within the Region of Halton. All calls received by the PSAP are immediately routed to the appropriate emergency service.
In the past several years, there has been much discussion about Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1).
NG9-1-1 will have the capacity to allow people to send a variety of “digital” information to emergency services in a real-time environment. Some of the possibilities under consideration for NG9-1-1 include an expanded ability for the public to make voice, text, or video emergency "calls" from any communication device.
In today's 9-1-1 environment, the public can primarily make only emergency voice calls and Teletype calls (by deaf or hearing impaired persons). Only minimal CALLER data is delivered with these calls, such as the phone number of the device calling, and any address associated to that phone number. In some cases, the GPS coordinates of a wireless 9-1-1 telephone call can also be determined by the PSAP.
Future enhancements may include data received from personal safety devices, advanced automatic collision notification systems, medical alert systems, intrusions alarms, surveillance systems and other sensors of various types. In some cases it may be possible for individuals to send video clips of a crime in progress, motor vehicle collision, fire, or other public safety hazard to emergency services. The new infrastructure envisioned by the NG9-1-1 project should support national internetworking of 9-1-1 services, as well as transfer of emergency calls to other PSAPs—including any accompanying data. In addition, the PSAP should be able to issue emergency alerts to wireless devices in an area via voice or text message, and to highway alert systems.
The Halton Regional Police Service is making progress to adopt this technology and the enhanced service it could offer our community. This is a complex endeavour and we are working with our telephone service providers, the Region of Halton and our Emergency Service partners to make NG9-1-1 a reality.
The first phase of this initiative is commonly known as “text with 9-1-1”, and will be restricted to members of the deaf and hard of hearing community. Once properly registered with their wireless service provider, members of that community will be able to connect with 9-1-1 through text messaging. Expansion of “text with 9-1-1” to the general public will be dependent on many factors, and will be a future topic of discussion at all levels of government in the years to come.
We will continue to keep our community informed about our progress, as we work towards improving and expanding the services we offer to Halton residents.