King County E-911 Program Update

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E-911 Updates

Remember, cell phones are not toys.  Old cell phones with a battery can call 911.

June |  2019

Ben 1

Program Manager Update

Whew!  It feels a little bit like we just completed the regular season, and now the playoffs start.

A huge thanks to our team and PSAP partners as the 20-month VIPER system refresh/upgrade has been completed. Not only was this project delivered on time and under budget, the project created a stable platform, allowing us to move confidently forward with our modernization efforts.

On the RFP front, the selection committee chose GeoComm as our new GIS data management and PSAP mapped Automatic Location Identification (ALI) partner. GeoComm is a leading provider of Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) mapping solutions and will provide an enterprise-wide solution, with the availability of tools for increased caller location accuracy, far greater levels of automation, and opens the door for more integration with PSAP dispatch map applications.

For our platform consultant, the team selected Federal Engineering (FE). The team at FE is very experienced with projects similar to ours, having provided consulting services to Palm Beach County, FL, as well as the states of Utah and Montana, among others. The FE team is highly skilled at assessing PSAP call processing requirements, combining those with excellent knowledge of the NG911 vendor landscape ensuring we are able to deliver a system that meets our current and future needs.

On other fronts, we are getting the PSAP agreement process moving again and are optimistic the document will be ready for signature in the coming months. The E-911 Finance Workgroup is also ready to get to work and tackle the process of ensuring the fiscal sustainability of the 9-1-1 Program.

Playoffs indeed!


Public Education & Outreach

The Public Education and Outreach Team has been very busy this summer attending a variety of Back-to-School Resource Fairs, Safety Fairs, and City Open Houses. They connected with approximately seven thousand people and most were children. The team's focus was to encourage them to know their address. There are a few more events before year end with an additional expected outreach of almost three thousand people.

Outreach could not have been this successful without the assistance of the King County PSAPs. There were numerous Telecommunicators from multiple PSAPs at each event and their enthusiasm and willingness to participate was fantastic. They were all a pleasure to work with.

The Program Office team continues to work all requests but plans for a more focused outreach in 2020 as additional team members become available.

New supplies and informational items are available. If you want more information, please contact



What is 9-1-1?


From the beginning, 911 was a telephone number. By definition it was a phone call. With the advent of E-911 in the 1980’s the location information was added (by another path), but it was still a phone call. Very little changed over the next 30 years.

The goal of Next Generation 911 is to move away from telephony onto an all IP environment. The benefit of the flexibility of IP allows the potential for radical change in the ways that help can be summoned. Already King County has Text-to-911 service while most areas do not.

The future is here. No longer in the realm of science fiction, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become a reality. More and more our daily lives involve so-called “smart devices”. Many of these can already be used to place a 9-1-1 call (Apple Watch), and many more have the potential to provide information or requests for service (video doorbells, for instance).

While dialing 9-1-1 is standard across the country, there are widening gaps in the public expectation and reality when it comes to social media, and other ways to call for help. Implementing the technology is only part of the picture. Vendors offer all sorts of different services and ways to interact with the public. Communities are embracing these offerings to varying degrees. All of these things are going to change what we mean when we say 9-1-1.

King County is preparing for the “what’s next” in 9-1-1. We attend industry conferences to learn about the technology and vendors. We also get valuable insights from the PSAP community nationwide. Through participation in committees and working groups our team is collaborating with agencies and vendors to meet the unprecedented need for consistency and cooperation. We are partnering with local PSAPs and industry consultants to select the next platform that will allow the flexibility to provide new services already available, and able to evolve to support the ever-changing needs of 9-1-1 service.

Strat Plan

Strategic Plan

The Regional Advisory Governing Board’s work continues as they engage with the Program Office addressing current and future technology, operations and financial needs of the program. These meetings are open to everyone.    Agendas and minutes can be found at

The Federal Engineering team will begin meeting with all King County PSAPs and State 911 to develop the requirements and create the Request For Proposal for the technology platform project.

Due to unforeseen challenges, the Financial Work Group process has been restructured. The facilitation consultant selection process is almost complete and work is expected to begin 4th quarter, 2019.

King County E-911 Mission Statement

The regional E-911 system provides an emergency communications link between the people of King County and appropriate public safety responders.