911 Enable and featured in the June eNewsletter.">

E911 solutions for educational organizations using IP telephony must ensure that when 911 is dialed, both the call and the caller’s location information are delivered to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Many of these same solutions can also notify campus security that a 911 call is in progress, with screen pops, emails, or pre-recorded messages. The alerts usually provide the caller’s extension, location, and name, which can be extremely useful and help to improve response times.

However, even with these alerts, campus security teams are still left in the dark as to the nature of the emergency. Three-way call monitoring allows campus security to listen in on emergency calls originating from their network, providing the context needed to fully assess the situation and implement the appropriate response. This is critical in four scenarios.

In the first scenario, where the emergency caller can speak, three-way call monitoring provides campus security with valuable information as to the nature of the emergency which can allow them to implement an emergency response before public safety arrives on-scene. Getting crucial assistance to the emergency caller immediately can improve the caller’s prognosis, and can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

In the second scenario, where the emergency caller is unable to communicate (e.g. caller cannot speak, PSAP operator is unable to hear the caller), three-way call monitoring allows campus security personnel to barge in on the call when needed. When the security staff person monitoring the call hears the silent line, they can dispatch someone to verify the incident and simultaneously implement the barge-in feature to notify the PSAP that someone on-site is going to investigate. This is key because silent calls that come into the PSAP are often assigned a low priority. Once armed with this information, the security desk and PSAP operator can better determine and coordinate the appropriate response, ensuring that the necessary help arrives as quickly as possible.

The third scenario is when someone on the network calls 911 in a non-emergency situation (e.g. power outage, minor injury, etc.). When the campus security staff person monitoring the call learns that the call does not require the response of public safety personnel, they can barge in to the call to advise the PSAP dispatcher that the situation will be handled internally and then send the necessary internal resources to aid the caller. This ensures the situation is dealt with appropriately, without tying up public safety resources for a non-emergency event.

In the fourth scenario, the security staff person monitoring the call may possess some unique information about the organization and its campus that could allow first responders to access the caller faster. For example, in a large campus there may be different entrances; the campus security staff person could barge in to the call and advise the PSAP dispatcher to send emergency responders a specific entrance or gate, making it easier for them to locate the caller and thereby speeding the response time.

Three-way call monitoring is a lifesaving feature that has proven to be invaluable to education organizations again and again. When monitoring an E911 call, campus security personnel are automatically placed on one-way mute so the call quality between the caller and the PSAP is maintained and the PSAP does not have to filter out any additional background noise. It provides the security desk staff with valuable contextual information so they can immediately implement an appropriate response, and helps facilitate improved coordination with the PSAP.