Prince William County’s Department of Public Safety Communications has launched the next generation 9-1-1 called the Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network (ESInet).
The current 9-1-1 infrastructure in Prince William and most of the country usually only allows the transport and transmission of voice and small data packets, according to a press release.
But in an emergency, routing the call to the correct 9-1-1 office and finding the person’s exact location are the two most important elements of a faster emergency response. Because previous 9-1-1 systems have limited data and internet protocol capabilities, it’s difficult to get more data across these networks, the county said.
Upgrading to 9-1-1 ESInet enables the county to get better location information from callers and to route misdirected calls faster when they are actually destined for a different jurisdiction.
The department anticipates that at some point their 9-1-1 system will be able to receive real-time photos and videos from the public when an emergency is reported. Other locations in Northern Virginia that started the 9-1-1 ESInet are Fairfax, Fauquier, and Loudoun Counties.