Monday, June 24, 2024

Morong town in Rizal becomes first LGU in PH to deploy new 911 system

Second-class municipality Morong in Rizal province is now the first local government unit in the Philippines with a next-generation emergency response and public safety system to respond to emergency calls and ensure the protection of its residents.

Morong mayor Sidney Soriano, vice mayor Jose Fred Feliciano and other key municipal officials signed an agreement with NGA Philippines (NGA) the local subsidiary of multinational corporation NGA 911 LLC headquartered in California, USA in April last year to provide Morong with world-class and complete solutions for emergency communication and public safety services.

NGA is known globally as the creator of Next Generation 911 (NG911) emergency communications worldwide. The NGA NG911 system is built on the industry standards adopted by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) in the United States and the European Emergency Number Association (EENA).

“I welcome you all to the inauguration of the Morong, Rizal Emergency 911 Command Center with Next Generation Advanced technology — the very first in the Province of Rizal, the first in the country and in Asia. It has always been our utmost desire to be able to respond to emergencies and crisis situations, effectively and efficiently so that we can provide good public service to the people. Today is the culmination of that dream,” Soriano said.

NGA Philippines country head Robert Llaguno said Morong’s investment in the emergency NGA911 system presently used in the United States pioneers the use of technology in the country that will revolutionize the way and speed with which the LGU can handle emergencies.

 “All 911 calls to the Morong DRRM Command Center are now fully recorded and conference and transfer facilities are now seamless,” explained Llaguno.

“There is more efficient dispatch and coordination, because IoT capabilities enhance situational awareness that include CCTV streams, GPS location and other early warning devices that can now be integrated to the system.”

Llaguno said the activation of 911 as Morong’s emergency number is aligned with Executive Order 56 of 2018 that institutionalized 911 as the emergency hotline and nationwide emergency answering point replacing Patrol 117.

“It will not only give Morong, Rizal a shorter 911 dialing code compared to the usual 10-digit cell number of responders. By utilizing the NGA NG911 system, the LGU will also be able to pinpoint with high accuracy the location of the emergency call and associate the same with the closest responders to provide a more immediate response.”

Personnel of the Next Generation Call Handling System of Morong will be trained by NGA and the Emergency 911 National Office. Specialized telephone equipment provided by NGA will be used by dispatchers to answer 911 calls and text messages, with the call handling equipment plotting the 911 call or text on a map and pinpointing the location of the caller or emergency. The command center runs 24/7.

The technology, used in the United States, has changed the face of emergency communications by using internet protocol (IP) technology to transmit voice, text and video messages between callers and emergency responders. It can provide real-time data on the location and condition of callers, which can help first responders make more informed decisions in emergency situations.

Other LGUs in the country have been briefed on the capabilities of the technology with some already set to follow Morong’s lead.

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