9-1-1 Awareness, part four

More on the last series on Enhanced 9-1-1 in the State of New Hampshire.

I mentioned Supplemental ALI being so exclusive, that if you were to Google it, the State’s Department of Safety’s page on this subject is on the first page of results. This special service is stored in a state database and when the number gets triggered into the state’s CTI system, this is how the special needs data appears.

This feature also can be used locally as I stated some states mandate in house Supplemental ALI provided by the customer if they have a MLTS. Be warned, if you make changes, you have to update your database. Cubicle numbers, conference rooms can appear, depending on the setup.

Continue reading

9-1-1 Awareness, part three

Where I live, I just turned thirty. Most thirty year olds are living in the 617 or 212 or 213 area codes but possibly are carrying cell numbers with 603 numbers. However if they call for an emergency, they would go to the closet PSAP where the tower is. There are people out there who “hate” the state they grew up. They won’t ever be coming back and sadly our PSAP is the most innovative in the country.

And even worse, no vendor doesn’t have the guts to defend our system, only to attack our lack of laws to protect troll attorneys if a 9-1-1 system is not properly configured in a business to sue the crap and put them out of business. I’m too lazy to pull up that Avaya blog post right now…

Continue reading

9-1-1 Awareness, part two

So for the people never called 9-1-1 before, the procedure is:

  • You go to our single PSAP no matter what number in the 603 area code to ether a Concord or Laconia center. Both locations staffed at the max under 20 even during peak “drive time” hours to about eight total at night. (It was to my own surprise that the max of each call center can max to 22 operators at each location, which totals to 44. This has never happened.) Despite so many people of my generation never returning to the Granite State, there is a growth of population, and given the weekend population throughout the tourist locations, it’s a surprise that a state agency can handle that with so few “telecommunicators” as the state calls it.
  • They ether verify or ask for your location and number. Names aren’t relevant I suppose. The location is to ensure they are going to the right place, and secondly the number is to ensure a call is disconnected that they will ringback. Unlike private sector call centers, the 9-1-1 call is tied to that call taker until s/he drops the call. The way this works, if I am not mistaken you hang up, a few seconds later 9-1-1 will ring back, essentially calling you immediately. Essentially callbacks in emergency services are immediate wheras a customer service/support line may take a few minutes.
  • 9-1-1 calls shouldn’t under most circumstances be overwhelmed where you get a busy signal, but you do go into a queue if there is an overload of calls. Don’t hang up because if you do get next on the queue, they will automatically call you back!
  • They ask for your type of emergency. For the youngins out there; this 3-digit telephone number is for Fire, Medical and Police. If your call is medical, the E911 telecommunicators will go through an Emergency Medical Dispatch procedures. If you remember the days of Rescue 911* with those reenactments, they used to pull a flip chart. It’s now electronic. Despite the fact; there is specific set of questions to ask in the proper order; if the victim is breathing; having a heart attack or gagging on something; even childbirth or something worse. Some have considered this the “interrogation” of a 9-1-1 call.

* As I write this; I still can’t get over the irony that a few years after Rescue, Shatner lost his wife in a drowning situation but the 9-1-1 tapes clearly showed he didn’t do anything he learned on a show he hosted for almost a decade! About a decade ago, a Boston PM drive talk show host would play the tapes for a while for comic relief. C’mon, I had to be sassy at some point in this theme!

  • The local dispatch centers start to get wind of an emergency. It varies town by town, my town has a single dispatch for police and fire, my other town I grew up still has two separate dispatch facilities. There are monitors hardwired via a private Internet link back to the State that shares the same screen the telecommunicator is seeing. It’s at the town’s discretion whether to send help; ring the bells and whistles or just arrive at legal speed limits without bells and whistles.

This is my local dispatch center. This is NOT a PSAP, remember the Department of Safety is the ONLY PSAP in the state. This is a Police Department that also handles Fire and EMS calls.  The middle monitor that on a round turntable is that monitor that is hardwired via a VPN connection to the Department Of Safety’s 911 system. That monitor is identical to the state “telecommunicator”. This is typically used for medical emergencies, and the local dispatchers can triage emergency calls even before taking the call or even put a call out. However each town has their own way of dispatching and sending out calls. This was taken in 2014 at the Merrimack, NH Police Department.

  • The state “bridges” the call between the 9-1-1 and the local dispatch. This means you will hear voices throughout the entire call, and no tones.  In other states you may hear tones or ringing. For a layman end user, that’s not very promising. In the commonwealth of Massachusetts, if you call the statewide PSAP via your cell, they’ll most likely “trunk transfer” your call. What’s that? If you hear ringing, that’s what they are talking about. But will Fletch and the FCC do anything? Of course not! They hate business!
  • Now the emergency response should be responding at someway at this point

*

9-1-1 Awareness

This subject is for consumers and non enterprise users. I will not talk about PBX systems, ACD telephones, and the stuff alike. Only to the Average Joe caller in my state of New Hampshire

Your humble Curator went to the New Hampshire Telephone Museum Friday evening for community events the facility hosts in their basements during the fourth Fridays of the month. That evening, a spokesperson named Wanda from the New Hampshire 9-1-1 discussed for over an hour about our system and how vulnerable many citizens of my state could be.

@nhtelephonemuseum learning the history of the 911 system in my home state.

A post shared by The Museum of Telephony (@themuseumoftelephony) on

To start, if you think the 9-1-1 portrayals in movies and soap operas and other television shows where you call 9-1-1 and someone’s life will be saved in minutes; think again. The theme of Friday night’s discussion is that. 9-1-1 is not magical. 9-1-1 is not a perfect system. In my own words, 9-1-1 is clearly not magical and it’s not perfect. I’ve discussed 9-1-1’s move to perfection in the most illogical way in the past.

Continue reading

Switchboards – Western Electric

#phoneoftheday #westernelectric #operator #switchboard

A post shared by The Museum of Telephony (@themuseumoftelephony) on

I don’t know my switchboards from heart, but this is a small console that looks like it can support up to 12 calls at one time. Taken at the NH Telephone Museum. I was there off hours and didn’t play with that one or that many. I was there last night for a discussion on 9-1-1 relevant to my state.  It’s rather interesting and disturbing at the same time. If you go to any PSAP elsewhere, you’d be jealous. It’s so underrated the Fletchs of the world don’t even talk about it!

I’ll have a full report next week and an ongoing awareness on Enhanced 9-1-1 next week!

Rant: Problems WITHIN the 911 “System”

A recent syndicated article from The Washington Post, reported a story in Houston, where a 9-1-1 operator, hung up on many calls, and some were life threatening. The 9-1-1 operator had the audacity to identify herself in one call as “Crenshanda”, who would later be identified as Crenshanda Williams, who was charged on two misdemeanor accounts of intercepting an emergency call.

img_9998

The question is (not to be a brat): will Avaya make a statement or lecture on their E9-1-1 blog by their VP of 911 solutions Mark aka “Fletch” Fletcher? Of course not! Avaya is basically Nortel with an old logo with red colors! Their nerdiness and lack of understanding logistics outside of integrated circuits and apps is so appalling this is why I completely dismiss anything from Avaya. They cross such an ethical boundary with advocating (err lobbying) to the FCC to mandate hotels from banning using a TAC to get to 911. I am not anti-government or claiming Fletch is a nanny state dude from Jersey or what. I feel if you want to ban a TAC to dial emergency, then abolish Part 68 all together and rent cell phones.

Continue reading

Rants: E911 (again!)

I typically don’t support British talkers on American TV; but John Oliver is apparently good when it comes to technology and the government. Net Neutrality can be debatable; but think E911 is something that can be agreed upon.

Anyways here’s the video and my two cents after:

At 3:45, he quotes the National Emergency Number Association’s “estimated 70 to 80 percent of 9-1-1 calls comes from wireless devices.” I’d think it’s safe to say, that a vast majority of “landlines” are actually from VOIP services that should  be coming from your physical address. Seconds later, he claims that 9-1-1 came from billing addresses. That’s if you don’t have it sent to say a PO Box, and he was half true – because many Centrex lines came from billing addresses not the plant address. But Centrex isn’t his audience.

This is very true. If cloud services and apps exist; then why can’t these apps that can track you become appliances in 9-1-1 PSAPs and plug in via SIP? Believe it or not, this upgrade is basically just a change in the software. The hardware is illrelevent. You could still have digital or analog sets taking calls, it’s on what the computer screen is what counts.

Then there’s the announcements of saying “all operators are busy” this allegedly refers to short staffing; but I’d lay on the side of caution – if there was a spike of emergencies or crises featured in this montage, then I’d side with that over his “understaff” claims.

Those “butt calls” calls placed add also calls placed during performances of “love” is another reason why 9-1-1 fails. It’s too easy to call. Sure if you’re in an emergency in panic, it’s nice to hold 9 or whatever to get 9-1-1; but this is probably how some PSAPs are overloaded. Even in enterprise settings, people like Avaya Blue’s own Mark Fletcher have been in bed with the FCC to force hotels to prevent using a trunk access code to dial out for 9-1-1. Or what he has done at Avaya to force businesses out of their will to have the government tell how private companies should have 9-1-1 programed on phone systems. To me this is beyond inappropriate and is an overreach of government and taking the common sense that is often missing in IT to begin with. By supporting very technical rules that can change at any time and threatening your users of lawsuits if you don’t comply is also sobering. These types of actions are only enabling the faceless careless IT departments to be even more careless and anti users.

I digress.  For enterprises, they have had similar issues like how consumers have cut the cord to wirelines; because VOIP is “mobile” and IP is not location dependent. I can have a data drop be tied to a switch, but the switch doesn’t care that I am on the 4th floor in the 6th office; in legacy PBX systems, it was programmed via the PBX of specific locations that could pass through to the 911 as a “supplemental ANI” service.

Cisco has encouraged adds moves or changes by unplugging the set and place it to a new location to make it easier for non telecom professionals to avoid doing proper changes by remapping a users’ MAC address from one cube to another. MAC remapping is too much labor for the IT department that doesn’t respect telephony. And this actually can cause even more problems for users trying to dial emergency.

I think John Oliver is right, we have taken 911 for granted. Maybe we shouldn’t take it for granted for a change. Maybe people who actually oppose changes forced by the alikes of Mark Fletcher to actually stand by their private branch exchange and stop having the government dictate how private businesses use their private phone system. Maybe “Fletch” could be better off selling snap-in apps to give better location information to these same PSAPs as Oliver has suggested.  If the facts are true that Avaya Red and Blue have 50 percent of the PSAP install base; maybe they should be selling these appliances or applications, and services (i.e. through a cloud) instead.

*

RANT: “Dial for Emergency”

This blog focuses on historic images or other media featuring voice technology from yesteryear or the previous century.

But in some museums there are discussion groups and today its about E911 or “Emergency”.

911 gets often misused or misdialed on an often basis. The media doesn’t help the matters when in almost every fictional show, if something seems to be wrong “CALL 911”, news outlets that sensationalize the fraudulent 911 calls or hell any 911 call.

There are some telecom equipment companies you know like the ones that make large scale PBX systems that have “product managers” that push for 911 legislation. (I’ll leave people and companies nameless but if you are familiar with them – you know what I am talking about.)

Yes they push for legislation.

Many PBX managers are ones who are mostly conservative and not for excessive legislation like a former company from North Of The Border.  I do fear that E911 laws get very onerous. One set of laws dictate “MLTS” or Multi Line Telephone Systems. Some states get very technical and of course just with any law in the last few years if you are less than 50 ports (or people) you get screwed the most. Its very ironic that the same companies that make KTS or KSUs do not have adequate E911 support. Least these morons to understand sites like eBay that still sells older KSU systems including old generations of Norstars, CLASSIC Merlins (like I have blogged before) and its cousins too! If they run via TDM and ISDN sure its an inch close to E911 standards but it still very, very complicated. Some can’t even afford “consultants” to help them.

Its also ironic that these same companies that are preaching “Innovation” like a Silicon Valley based company is actually by oxymoron taking away that same idea due to onerous government regulation just for E911.

Oh and what would really be depressing is if government dictates business to require to dial 911 plainly, and then see an possible uptick in misdialed attempts to 911 and then have your taxes go up because of the costs of police officers (BY law) to report to your business that is why TAC is your safeguard.

But what do I know? I don’t have the PhD of Knowing Everything About Telecom to the point where I condescend my fellow users on email lists and when I, the author of this blog try to counter-argue, I get treated that I am the jerk.

Exploiting children for E911 reform is even more sickening, again I suggest you find the blog of this unnamed company of reference that meets the above profile.