911 Address Verification Underway In Spokane County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

911 Address Verification Underway In Spokane County

Spokane County Official Release:

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – 911 has launched an address verification initiative for each address in Spokane County and the municipalities.  It entails obtaining the latitude and longitude (X/Y coordinates) for each address.  The local 911 office is developing a point file that will be used to locate callers once Next Generation 911 (NG 911) is in place.  Address verification is a first step in moving towards NG 911, although it will take several years to implement for texting, pictures, etc.

In order to obtain the X/Y coordinates, a 911 employee is driving/walking through neighborhoods with a handheld GPS unit.  The vehicle is a white Ford Escape with county license plates and is clearing identified as "911 Address Verification Vehicle" (the employee will also be carrying the flyer that is attached).

 

Next Generation 911

NG 9-1-1 is an ever-evolving technology to keep pace with communications devices commonly used by the public.  Today, people can text each other, send photos or video from their smartphones.  The current Enhanced 911 system is not able to receive text messages, photos or video that could accompany a voice call or text message for assistance.  The current addressing database is based on block ranges not on specific X/Y coordinates for each address.  NG 911 is based on point files that contain X/Y coordinates for each address in Spokane County.  911 is obtaining the coordinates and creating a point file in GIS that will provide a much more accurate location when people call for assistance once NG 911 is implemented.

NG 911 requires changes to the equipment at Spokane County 911 and major changes to the "telephone & cellular networks" that carries 911 communications.  The changes to the network are not likely to be completed until about 2015.

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