NENA's Mission is to foster the technological advancement, availability and implementation of a universal emergency telephone number system (9-1-1). In carrying out its mission, NENA promotes research, planning, training and education. The protection of human life, the preservation of property, and the maintenance of general community security are among NENA's objectives.
Serving as a link in the delivery of emergency services, 9-1-1 has, throughout its evolution, become recognized as an asset of the North American public. And the NENA organization has been connected to 9-1-1 every step of the way. Years ago, the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) sponsored the first three national 9-1-1 meetings in an effort to create industry awareness of 9-1-1 and collect information on emergency systems already in use. In 1982, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), a not-for-profit corporation, was founded as a result of these meetings and to further the goal of "One Nation–One Number."
In the 9-1-1 industry, NENA is widely recognized as the standard-setting organization, and its members are the experts in 9-1-1 telephony. The NENA membership – the breadth and depth of its knowledge and the quality of its leadership – has made 9-1-1 successful. For several years NENA has been leading aggressive IP development efforts for 9-1-1. A result of those efforts surfaced in 2003 with adoption of the NENA–VON Coalition agreement, an important first step toward consensus development; to both guide the initial efforts of Voice over Internet providers in handling 9-1-1 calls, and to gain agreement in an active role in the development of migratory and longer term IP and VoIP solutions for 9-1-1.
Next Generation 9-1-1
In the past 15 years, advancements in modern communications technology have created the need for a more advanced system to access emergency care. While the existing 9-1-1 system has been a success story for more than 30 years, it has been stretched to its limit as technology advances. New wireless and IP-based communications devices are being developed at a rapid rate, offering capabilities such as text and video messaging. Unfortunately, the current 9-1-1 system was never intended to receive calls and data from these new and emerging technologies. As a result, through cumbersome adaptations, E9-1-1 is being asked to perform functions it was not designed to handle. In short, the nation’s 9-1-1 systems are in need of a significant overhaul.
NENA identified this need in 2000, published the Future Path Plan in 2001, and began development activities toward this end in 2003. The NENA NG9-1-1 Project encompasses and coordinates many actions aimed to accomplish the capabilities for IP based Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) within this decade. A significant focus of Charles R. Ploof & Associates is to provide public sector clients, as well as 9-1-1 service providers and vendors, with the support needed to create a logical and orderly transition from existing 9-1-1 networks and services to the NG9-1-1 vision for an effective multimedia public safety network for the 21st Century!