Recording NG9-1-1 communications involves much more than capturing voice and some basic data. NG logging recorders now require tighter integration of technologies and processes than yesterday's recorders were designed for. Considering that recording emergency communications is a must these days as it will be in the future, let’s look into 'what's under the hood' in this important, but often overlooked area.
VPI recently participated in Avaya’s TechTalk podcast where the two long-term partners and industry leaders in innovative technologies for processing and managing emergency communications shared their insights on NG9-1-1 recording requirements and considerations in an informal, engaging conversation. You're invited to listen to these 6 minutes of recorded audio or read the Podcast transcript:
Public Safety Emergency Communication centers are known for the use of many different proprietary technologies, specifically developed for use in emergency response process. How is this changing due to Next Generation 9-1-1 standards and how is it impacting the communications recording function?
Next Generation 9-1-1 is one of the most significant changes we’ve seen in the public safety industry in years. The functional specification for the NENA i3 solution 08-003 calls for standardization of all multimedia communications, technologies and processes. PSAPs - or Public Safety Answering Points – must be updated to be able to receive and log all forms of communication used today – whether it’s voice, text or other media. And they must be able to accept new forms of evidence from the field, including mobile photos, videos and SMS messages that will be delivered via the SIP protocol standard over the Emergency Services IP Network – or ESiNet for short.
To accommodate these specs, technology vendors, including recording providers like VPI, are required to standardize their architectures, interfaces and communication protocols, so that PSAPs can easily share and exchange information with other agencies when needed.
That’s very interesting. Where does VPI’s recording system fit within the NG9-1-1 communications infrastructure?
Recording systems play very important role in Next-Gen 9-1-1. Regardless of call media type being transferred – whether it’s phone call, text, video or IM – the media is converted to SIP signaling within the originating network. Then, it travels through ESInet and is routed to the appropriate i3 PSAP. There, the Emergency Call Routing Function queries what’s called an Emergency Services Routing Proxy like Avaya’s Aura ESRP to determine which PSAP to route the call to. Once the call media has arrived to the most appropriate PSAP, our call recorder captures SIP Invite packets from the ESRP and begins recording media and logging events. When a call is completed, a SIP BYE event terminates the recording of the call. And at that time, any associated call data attributes, such as location information, are recorded and logged into our database and then authorized users are able to access recordings via a centralized, Web-based interface.
What are the mandatory elements of a NG9-1-1 recording system?
That’s an excellent question - one that we get asked quite a lot these days.
- Our recording technologies have been developed on the principles of open service-oriented architecture from the ground up since 1994, encompassing non-proprietary hardware and software elements as well as application services and processes between them. This is the first mandatory requirement per NENA’s i3 specification.
- The system must be capable of recording analog, TDM, VoIP, radio, wireless calls and SIP-based media including SMS text, email and instant messages, streaming video, and images into standard file formats – and all within the same system.
- The recorder must be also capable of collecting data attributes from the ESInet such as caller number, date stamp and location information bundled in the SIP signaling. Other data that is also very useful includes CAD data such as incident ID, type, and severity; and case processing data such chief complaint, scene and victim information and caller safety.
- If the call is transferred to another PSAP location, the recording system must continue to record and track the call.
- And for security purposes, the recorder must authenticate all voice and data communications.
Do you have any final thoughts that you’d like to leave with our global community of Avaya customers and partners?
Yes, NENA is planning on releasing their final version of the 08-003 i3 specification later this year. With this in mind, our VPI CAPTURE recording solution has been designed to enable you to take full advantage of the i3 network vision. To learn more, you can visit us online at www.VPI-corp.com/PSAP, or feel free to call us anytime at 800-200-5430. And on behalf of all of us at VPI, thanks so for your time today.
VPI has been one of Avaya’s longest standing Avaya DevConnect partners a member of the Avaya Developer Connection program since 2002. VPI is also an active participant in the National Emergency Number Association’s NG9-1-1 Planning Committee and testing at NENA’s Industry Collaboration Events.