Karina Yandell, ENP
VP Marketing & Operations, 911 ETC

A growing number of organizations are making the strategic decision to move their services into the cloud. The reasons are many and include: 

  1. Flexibility. 65% of respondents to an InformationWeek survey said “the ability to quickly meet business demands” was an important reason to move to cloud computing.
  2. No costly upgrades. With no upfront investments for hardware, “pay as you go” with cloud computing saves companies both time and money. 
  3. Document control. Cloud computing makes collaboration stronger, with documents accessible in one central location. 
  4. Scalability. Employees and resources can be added or removed quickly and with ease. 
  5. Mobility. With the right cloud solution, employees can work from anywhere. 

A crucial component of any cloud solution is reliable E911 service. There are over 6,000 Public Safety Answering Points in the United States. An outgoing 9-1-1 call placed from within your organization needs to route to the correct PSAP and include location information that is accurate enough for emergency responders to quickly locate the caller.

When it comes to ensuring accurate location information, companies have the option to utilize Emergency Location Information Numbers (ELIN’s) and Emergency Response Locations (ERL’s) in mapping out their network. What’s an ELIN and who is ERL? The National Emergency Number Association defines them as:

ELIN: A valid North American Numbering Plan format telephone number, assigned to the MLTS Operator by the appropriate authority that is used to route the call to a PSAP and is used to retrieve the ALI for the PSAP. The ELIN may be the same number as the ANI. The North American Numbering Plan number may in some cases not be a dialable number. (Note that an ELIN is also referred to as an ELE within an Avaya environment.)

ERL: A location to which a 9-1-1 emergency response team may be dispatched. The location should be specific enough to provide a reasonable opportunity for the emergency response team to quickly locate a caller anywhere within it. 

Mapping out a network with ELIN’s and ERL’s in mind can be difficult, as multiple floors, multiple buildings, or even a large area with many barriers can present problems. However, if done correctly, a great deal of time, trouble and money can be saved. An E911 specialist can provide valuable information on how to organize ERL’s in a manner that makes sense for E911. 

In addition to ensuring accurate location information, the routing of the 9-1-1 call itself needs to be addressed. 9-1-1 routing can become complicated when trunks are eliminated from remote gateways and branch offices are tied back to a central core. With no direct connection between the branch office and its local PSAP, an outgoing 9-1-1 call placed from a remote site in Dallas could be answered by a call taker at a PSAP in Los Angeles.

This is where an E911 cloud services vendor provides the missing piece. 9-1-1 calls route directly to their cloud, which then routes the 9-1-1 call to the appropriate PSAP.

Is your organization considering a move to the cloud? Make sure your people are protected when it comes to communicating during emergency situations. Contact a specialist at Carousel about 911 ETC today.