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Project 43™

Project 43™ Working Group Descriptions

A number of major, broadband-based developments are leading to a paradigm shift in the role of the PSAP. Implementation of a new nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network led by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will place broadband communications into the hands of first responders. Next Generation 9-1-1 technology will enable PSAPs to utilize broadband data in ways that will transform how the public reaches 9-1-1 and how telecommunicators communicate with first responders. Other IP-based technologies, including those supported through smartphones, tablets, and mobile apps, are widely prevalent throughout the general public and are capable of sending an array of heretofore unavailable information to the PSAP. As a result, PSAPs of the future will be the nerve center, managing data-rich communications via broadband technology with 9-1-1 callers and first responders. Project working groups will sort through the impacts of broadband on PSAPs, specifically focusing on cybersecurity, governance, operations, workforce, technical and training.

P43 Managing Chair: Steve Proctor, Retired Executive Director, Utah Communications Authority
To facilitate the sharing of some resources of common interest to all P43 Working Group (WG) members. Continue to use specific WG communities (and not this combined group) for most of the messaging about ongoing work.


The cybersecurity working group will identify and provide recommendations regarding multiple aspects of cybersecurity related to the implementation of broadband-based technologies such as FirstNet and NG9-1-1, including those aspects of cybersecurity that relate directly to the PSAP ecosystem such as an examination of ingress and egress points to/from the PSAP and between the public and the PSAP and the PSAP and field responders. The resulting recommendations will include strategies related to physical security, network security, best practices for both technical and operations personnel, and proposed modifications to existing standards for assisting PSAPs in preparing a cyber defense strategy.

The governance working group will identify and provide recommendations related to coordination within and between 9-1-1 PSAP jurisdictions, emerging liability issues to include privacy concerns resulting from the implementation of broadband technologies, and state and local governance structures and reforms to legal and regulatory frameworks needed to facilitate the adoption of broadband technology receiving, recording, documenting and transmitting capabilities.

The operations working group will identify and provide recommendations related to emerging policy issues and concerns that will occur within a PSAP as they relate to the receipt and processing of broadband technologies to include, NG 9-1-1 and FirstNet. Model policy development will include but not be limited to 9-1-1 call processing, computer aided dispatch (CAD), GIS, GPS, ESInet, records management (RMS), use of recording and retention systems as well as dispatch console (radio) operations. Operational working group members should expect to evaluate a variety of potential policy solutions and analyze existing consensus based standards and best practices and recommend improved standards and practices as deemed appropriate for use by public safety telecommunicators.

The technical working group will examine and provide recommendations regarding the technical implications to the PSAP of broadband-based technologies such as FirstNet and NG 9-1-1 as they relate to the PSAP ecosystem. This will include an examination of all equipment and systems necessary to deliver and process IP based communications from the point of entry into the PSAP (NG9-1-1) to dispatch, for management of field resources (FirstNet) and through to the complete documentation of the incident. Additionally, an evaluation method for new and ever-changing ways in which requests for 9-1-1 service are received and information provided to responders and to the public will be reviewed. The technical working group will also evaluate existing consensus based standards, best practices and open system architectures and make recommendations for improved standards and practices as deemed necessary.

The training working group will explore and recommend entry level, initial/orientation and on-going training related requirements needed for personnel in a broadband and NextGencapable PSAP including but not limited to issues such as increased stress associated with processing more information and exposure to live video from incidents, as well as maintaining proficiency with rapidly evolving technology in addition to the necessary minimum training currently needed for a professional public safety telecommunicator. The training working group members will also evaluate current consensus based standards and best practices and recommend improved standards and practices as deemed appropriate.

The workforce (a.k.a. staffing) working group will examine the implications of the PSAP of the future’s ability to accept, document, transmit and retain for evidentiary purposes texts, videos, photos, telemetry data, and more, and the staffing expertise that will be needed to accommodate these advanced communication methods. Included will be a detailed comparative analysis and reporting on the numbers of staff positions (FTE) needed compared to today’s PSAP staffing as well as an examination of the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for the public safety telecommunicator of the future working in a broadband-capable PSAP. The workforce working group will also consider the staffing implications of potential interoperability workload sharing between PSAPs, enhanced initial and mutual aid opportunities, and managing the exposure to critical incidents and workforce burnout.