Your job is constantly changing – how you respond, collaborate, manage data, and deliver vital city services. As technology evolves, budgets get tighter, and demands increase, your public safety agency will depend on multiple services working together to be successful.
Christopher Carver, a new sales director for Hexagon’s Safety & Infrastructure division, knows the challenges you’re experiencing all too well. As a former fire and EMS dispatcher and director with the New York City Fire Department and National Emergency Number Association (NENA), he understands the struggles your agency faces as it works to better manage growing demand and modernize city services.
We caught up with Carver recently to discuss his upcoming HxGN LIVE 2019 breakout session, “Exploring the Future of 911 & CAD.” Read below to learn his perspective on the issues facing public safety agencies worldwide, how technology is changing, and why you should attend Carver’s session at HxGN LIVE, 11-14 June at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Q. How has your background with NENA, the New York City Fire Department, and other organizations prepared you for your new role with Hexagon?
A. My background in public safety has been the perfect lead into my new role with Hexagon. From my time “in the seat” in 911 centers, I learned just how critical it is to have a fully functional, intuitive, and robust CAD solution. From my experience as a supervisor, manager, and director, I have seen the power and potential of analytics and reporting. While at NENA, I not only learned firsthand the challenges facing the entire 911 industry, but also helped shape the innovative advances of our information age while ensuring our public safety professionals are not overwhelmed by all the “stuff” coming at them.
It is very clear CAD is the tool that will connect all the dots – from the request for help from the public and dispatching of appropriate units to the reporting and data interpretation that will allow communities to make better decisions about planning, resource deployment, safety, and security. Joining Hexagon – the premier CAD provider – at the very moment when all these trends are converging is an honor I cherish every day.
Q. What are some of the changes and challenges facing public safety operations and CAD software and related systems in the future?
A. The biggest challenges are cost, integration, collaboration, and scalability. Many 911 agencies still use locally designed, “homegrown” CAD systems. These systems were adequate for the 911 operations of the 1990s, but can’t support all the things CAD needs to do in our present and future environments. This includes connecting to other agencies, systems, and databases; integrating with new tools, such as Rapid SOS; leveraging the advances of NG911; and ensuring continuity of operations during times of cyber threats or disasters that impact the physical PSAP and/or its personnel.
Technology is changing at a blistering pace, as are the challenges faced by 911. This demands a CAD system that can literally do it all – and do it at a reasonable price. It must offer scalability as agencies grow or consolidate, and be the “best of breed” for the dispatcher tasked with managing the flood of 911 calls and emergencies that impact communities each day.
Q. Why is your session, “Exploring the Future of 911 & CAD” important for public safety agencies to attend?
A. This session will help attendees envision the same opportunities that excite me – and help them plan the path forward for their agencies. Unfortunately, we hear many terms today that are not well defined or even well understood. Smart and safe cities, FirstNet, NG911, collaboration, and innovation are just a few of the buzzwords we will connect, not just to the real world of 911 operations, but also to the CAD products and services Hexagon provides to meet those solutions. Even more importantly, this session will be interactive and collaborative, helping attendees connect with each other as we all strive to improve public safety by leveraging technology and innovation.
Q. 911 today is all about innovation and how agencies can leverage IT, analytics, sensors, video, text, and artificial intelligence to create safer, more resilient communities. How will your session shed light on how change and innovation are coming together in CAD?
A. This session is all about bringing together the advances of our information and data-driven age with CAD to help ensure improved operational awareness and effectiveness. Hexagon offers a solution that supports not just proven, industry-leading dispatching tools and capabilities, but also the integration and development of tomorrow’s tools that will help 911 professionals and field responders better meet the needs of their communities, no matter the challenge. In my session, we’ll discuss this exciting path forward, highlighting solutions offered by Hexagon and the experience, insights, and ideas of those attending to hopefully offer helpful information for all attendees.
Q. What do you hope attendees will take away from your session?
A. I anticipate attendees will leave this session excited about the future of 911. They will have a clear understanding of Hexagon’s goal to improve their day to day by deploying the best possible products to meet their needs. Even more importantly, they will realize the future of public safety communications is not to be feared, but rather embraced. Innovations offer us the once-in-a-generation opportunity to move the industry forward and create safer communities in the process.
Explore Carver’s session and others in the HxGN LIVE session catalog. Then, save $500 when you register for the conference with our $849 Act Fast Rate, which expires next week.
Lucy Berry DeButy is a content marketing writer and editor for Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure's Global Marketing team. She has nearly 10 years of writing and editing experience in print and digital media. DeButy holds bachelor's degrees in English and journalism from the University of North Alabama.