From the initial 911 call to dispatch, through clearing the call after transport or at the conclusion of the scene, the FCC policies, regulations, and guidelines are critical to responding to and managing public safety emergencies. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) PSHSB mission is “ensuring public safety and homeland security by advancing state-of-the-art communications that are accessible, reliable, resilient, and secure, in coordination with public and private partners.” The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau website offers links to the critical communication planning and resources.
The PSHSB Clearinghouse offers a collection of documents to help your first responder agency with best practices, grant information, and free handbooks and reference materials, organized by first responder type: first responders, healthcare, PSAPs/ 911, persons with disabilities, and local and tribal government agencies.
ERIC - The Emergency Response Interoperability Center - establishes and operates the 700 MHz Public Safety Broadband Wireless network.
Review the Emergency Communications Guidelines for a checklist of communications planning and recovery here.
For information on regional planning and the interoperability spectrum, visit this page.
Public Safety Spectrum Coordinators are located here.
Or find other first responder resources in the First Responder section.
On December 13, 2013, the FCC adopted new rules for 911 service providers (FCC 13-158). The order is in response to “an inquiry into the 911 outages, finding that many could have been avoided if 911 service providers had fully implemented well-established network reliability best practices – which were developed with and backed by industry – and other sound engineering principles. The FCC said today that a purely voluntary approach to 911 reliability has not been sufficient.”
Enhanced 911 is in Phase II
Within six months of phase II adoption, the location of a wireless 911 call should be provided within 50-300 meters. The FCC conducted a workshop, as part of the E-911 Phase II, on November 18, 2013. The FCC workshop “explored current trends that may be affecting the provision and quality of 911 location information delivered to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), including the increased volume of wireless 911 calls and the increase in wireless calls originating from indoor locations.” Click here for information on Enhanced 911 (E-911) accuracy hearing. California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Carolina, and Utah participated in the tracking. Links to the call tracking data are provided here.