Brian Fontes

“I think more so now than ever before, the general public as well as public safety colleagues look at 911 on par with public safety services in general. I think it’s been moved up in stature because so much has depended on 911 in this COVID-19 world. Looking at the virtual workspace has become more of a reality and more of a priority in planning for COVID-19 and also for other things when they come down the road, whether it’s fires, hurricanes, earthquakes or other pandemics.

“Another thing is more and more emphasis is being placed on next-generation 911, in planning, the RFPs that have gone out. And in large part — not that it will be a workaround solution for a pandemic environment — but it enables a lot of flexibility in a pandemic environment by moving calls from one 911 center to another 911 center with all the accompanying data associated with that call. And that would certainly be beneficial in a world in which we’re living in today, with all its limitations and restrictions.”

Brian Fontes is chief executive officer of the National Emergency Number Association.

Benjamin Freed

Written by Benjamin Freed

Benjamin Freed was the managing editor of StateScoop and EdScoop, covering cybersecurity issues affecting state and local governments across the country. He wrote extensively about ransomware, election security and the federal government’s role in assisting states and cities with information security.

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