Zetron recently announced that it will demonstrate at APCO 2016 in Orlando its ESInet-based text-to-911 solution that is designed to help call-takers multitask, allowing them to answer an emergency voice calls and one or more emergency texts simultaneously, according to a company official.

By utilizing an ESInet—the key component of NENA’s i3 standard, which provides the network foundation for next-generation 911 (NG911) systems—the Zetron text-to-911 solution in MAX Call-Taking (MAX CT) allows a call-taker to receive one voice call and emergency texts while viewing the same screen, according to Alice Johnson, Zetron’s product manager for MAX call taking.

“It’s integrated on the call-taking system that’s going to allow the call-taker to process both a voice call and text messages,” Johnson said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “It’s system-configurable, so there can be multiple text sessions at the same time, while processing a voice call.

“It’s a pretty slick-looking demo. The [APCO 2016] show will be its first public debut.”

A key component to the text-messaging solution is the ability for call-takers to access preconfigured “coded canned messages” that allow the call-taker to respond quickly and efficiently to an emergency text, instead of having to type required questions repeatedly, Johnson said.

“MAX CT users can configure the system for customized call-taking that will allow the call-takers to have standardized and speedy responses for processing the text messaging to keep them on track while they are processing a voice call or multiple text sessions,” she said. “We think this sets us apart from our competition.”

Johnson said the canned messages can be created within the PSAP, and different sets can be established for myriad types of responses—for instance, a set of responses can be established for a fire incident, while another set can be created for a law-enforcement event.

Many call-takers have been outspoken in expressing their concern that text-to-911 and other new media capabilities could overwhelm them, but Johnson said she believes the Zetron solution can help allay the text-related fears.

“The product is a tool to help the dispatchers do their jobs and process all of this information that’s coming at them with the least amount of stress, instead of throwing a bunch of information at them and having them forced to deal with it,” Johnson said. “We’re designing our products to help them with that.”

Gary Stidham, Zetron’s vice president of product management, said the initial response to the solution has been positive.

“We’re getting a lot of good feedback already, just in the customer reviews that we’ve done,” Stidham said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.