What Is Next Generation 9-1-1?

Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) is an interoperable, secure, IP-based system that –

  • Employs commonly accepted standards
  • Enables emergency communications centers to receive, process, and analyze all types of 9-1-1 requests for emergency assistance
  • Acquires and integrates additional information useful to handling 9-1-1 requests for emergency assistance
  • Supports sharing information related to 9-1-1 requests for emergency assistance among emergency communications centers and emergency response providers.

Handling over 240 million emergency 9-1-1 calls per year highlights the critical role that law enforcement, fire, EMS, and 9-1-1 professionals play in ensuring public safety. The limitations of the current system, which is largely based on technology dating back to the 1960s and primarily supports voice calls with limited texting capabilities, can hinder the ability of emergency services to efficiently respond to diverse emergency situations.

APCO’s Next Generation 9-1-1 Course Is Coming to Virginia and Michigan

Registration is open for APCO’s new two-day in-person course: Fundamentals of Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) in Fairfax, VA, June 27-28 and Pontiac, MI on August 20-21. During the training, industry experts dive into key concepts of NG9-1-1, including interoperability, reliability, redundancy, cybersecurity and more. The course is essential for command staff, supervisors, technologists, telecommunicators and ECC operations professionals to enhance ECC operations and stay ahead of the curve as the industry transitions to NG9-1-1. Worth 16 CDEs. See the course topics and register at apcointl.org/ng911courses.

APCO Releases Definitive Guide to Next Generation 9-1-1

The comprehensive guide takes a forward-looking approach to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) to address what emergency communications centers (ECCs) and professional staff from telecommunicators to directors need to make informed decisions now and in the future.

Today's 9-1-1 vs. Next Generation 9-1-1

Traditional 9-1-1 systems in many places primarily support emergency voice calls, allowing the caller to speak directly to the telecommunicator. Often only minimal data is delivered to the ECC such as Automatic Number Identification (ANI), subscriber name and Automatic Location Identification (ALI), when available. TTY/TDD (Teletypewriter/Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) has been available to communicate with individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired.

The vision of an NG9-1-1 system is true end-to-end interoperability. This means ensuring that the ECC can receive voice, text and multimedia from any communications device and pass information and data seamlessly to another ECC and to field responders without proprietary interfaces, equipment or other factors. Many legacy and precursor NG9-1-1 deployments, including call handling equipment and ESInets, lack interoperability.

NG9-1-1 will allow the ECC to receive more than basic calls and texts and can incorporate data from automated devices, sensors, telematics and other sources. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will have a significant role in organizing the advanced data and services coming with NG9-1-1. For example, GIS will be integral for locating callers and delivering other relevant data that will assist in situational awareness.

APCO Resources

Reports & Presentations

  • APCO International’s Definitive Guide to Next Generation 9‑1‑1

    The comprehensive guide takes a forward-looking approach to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) to address what emergency communications centers (ECCs) and professional staff from telecommunicators to directors need to make informed decisions now and in the future.

  • Guidance for Achieving an Innovative and Interoperable Transition to Next Generation 9-1-1

    Achieving an end-state, Next Generation 9-1-1 system throughout the country requires that public
    safety professionals actively engage in defining the needs and requirements of any solution. These
    requirements should include ensuring solution providers are aware of public safety’s needs

  • Project 43: Broadband Implications for the PSAP

    The goal of Project 43 is to help public safety telecommunicators, PSAPs, PSAP directors, 9-1-1 authorities, elected and appointed officials, and others in the public safety community better leverage existing technology capabilities and prepare for the evolving broadband communications technologies that will impact PSAP operations and, at the same time, improve support to field responders.

  • Achieving Next Generation 9‐1‐1 Nationwide

    Using a scenario, the presenters describe how 9-1-1 professionals will use broadband tools to enhance emergency response, and what new ways of thinking will be needed to get us there.

TabletopX Blog Posts

  • APCO’s 2023 Advocacy Priorities (with one-pagers of talking points)

    During the prior session of Congress, APCO made substantial progress on its legislative goals, including coming closer than ever to securing significant federal funding for Next Generation 9‑1‑1. With the start of a new Congress, legislation APCO had been championing will need to be reintroduced, and we’ll seek to build upon the momentum to get these bills passed into law. This blog describes APCO’s legislative priorities, APCO’s efforts, and next steps.

  • Talking Points for APCO’s Legislative Priorities

    APCO members often contact us to ask for talking points to prepare for meetings with their U.S. Senators and Representatives. Having accurate talking points to speak from – or leave with the congressional staffers you meet with – can ensure that you use your meeting time efficiently and are prepared to answer key questions about the issues. Following up on the blog describing APCO’s advocacy priorities for 2022, here are talking points for our top legislative issues: 1) securing federal funding for Next Generation 9-1-1; 2) correcting the federal classification of public safety telecommunicators; and 3) funding health and wellness programs for 9-1-1 professionals.  

  • APCO International’s Public Safety Communications Priorities for the New Year

    The following is a list of our advocacy priorities for the coming year. Despite much progress and several wins that APCO members should be proud of since we announced our 2021 legislative and regulatory priorities, there is still significant work to be done for public safety communications.

  • Forming the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition

    Looking back at 2020, one of the bright spots for APCO was joining with other leading public safety associations to advocate for legislation that would establish a significant one-time federal grant program to achieve Next Generation 9‑1‑1 (NG9‑1‑1) nationwide. Following months of collaboration between various public safety associations and congressional staff, the Next Generation 9-1-1 […]

  • Federal Report Estimates Extent of Interoperability Challenges for 9-1-1

    This won’t come as news to anyone working in public safety communications, but 9-1-1 faces significant interoperability challenges.  While ECCs are generally able to transfer basic voice 9-1-1 calls to neighboring ECCs, they often cannot share other types of communications and data important for emergency response.

  • 2020 Legislative Priorities

    By Jeff Cohen We just started a new year, but there are only a few months left to achieve a number of public safety legislative objectives before Congress enters into election mode. Click on the topics listed below to read background info and talking points for raising these matters, especially if you have plans to […]

  • What Does Interoperable Mean in the Real World?

    This article focuses primarily on communication tools such as land mobile radio (LMR) and computer aided dispatch (CAD) in addition to illustrating the overall need for an interoperability-based approach to any communications technologies intended for use by public safety.

  • Achieving the True Promise of Next Generation 9-1-1

    9-1-1 is part of America’s critical infrastructure, but it profoundly lags behind in technology. Public safety communications professionals across the country deserve to have the best tools available to protect and save lives.  Next Generation 9-1-1 promises to deliver many benefits, including putting 9-1-1 on par with technology used in the commercial sector, which for […]


1.115.1-2018 Core Competencies, Operational Factors, and Training for Next Generation Technologies in Public Safety Communications

This standard provides PSAP managers, personnel, and technologists with a guide to begin preparation to accept and utilize this data. It outlines additional training that will be needed by telecommunicators who have traditionally made decisions based primarily on voice conversations, as well as the corresponding policies agencies must develop. With the opportunity to utilize streaming video, telecommunicators will potentially be able to visually determine the number and type of responders to dispatch to a scene, provide additional information regarding a fire scene and provide details often overlooked by voice communications, such as a gun on a shelf during a domestic violence incident.

Sample RFP for NG9-1-1 Capabilities

The RFP Template offers recommendations, guidance, and specific operational requirements that will be of interest to any state or local official involved in the procurement process, especially state-level 9-1-1 officials and directors and managers of emergency communications centers (ECCs).