Next-Generation-911

Also known as NG911, this is a nationwide initiative to modernize the 911 emergency communications system. The most dramatic change is that all communications over an NG911 system become digital. This means that the following can be delivered over a NG911 network to a 911 center:

  • Voice
  • Text
  • Photos
  • Video

And it doesn't stop there - eventually, other types of messages/communications can be delivered to the 911 center - such as Automatic Crash Notifications can be sent from your car, data from health and fitness apps on a mobile phone can share heart-rate, blood pressure, or even blood sugar levels with a 911 center.

Every message between the individual needing assistance the the 911 center will be converted to a digital format.

This change toward NG911 will mean more and different types of communications can be delivered to and processed by the 911 center. Also, many of these messages can be forwarded by the 911 center to the first responders in the field, which gives them greater situational awareness about the type of emergency they are responding to.

Within Pierce County, the 911 Program Office is coordinating the roll out of the new networks and technologies needed to bring the vision of NG911 to reality. Our partners in this effort include:

  • Washington State E911 Coordinator's Office (SECO)
  • Originating Service Providers (those companies that provide services directly to the consumer)
  • Pierce County Spatial Services (developing the mapping systems and data needed to better understand a user's location at the time an emergency occurs)
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord
  • South Sound 911
  • Washington State Patrol (District 1 - Tacoma)
  • Multiple public safety communications hardware and software developers

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1       When will I be able to text 911 in Pierce County?

A1        Text-to-911 went live in March of 2019 for all wireless carriers.  Currently all text messages are delivered to South Sound 911, where the messages are processed and notifications are made to either Joint Base Lewis-McChord or to the Washington State Patrol.