Author: Kristin McKinney

Press Release: NCT9-1-1 & RapidDeploy Share Vital Tips for Emergency Calls in Honor of National First Responders Day

Press Release: NCT9-1-1 & RapidDeploy Share Vital Tips for Emergency Calls in Honor of National First Responders Day

Public safety awareness and the innovation of Next Gen 9-1-1 makes a difference for first responders and communities across North Central Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas, October 25, 2023 — The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) is on a mission to improve emergency response with a dedicated program on public safety education, highlighting advancements in Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) solutions. This includes the continued focus of the Learn 9-1-1 application and the increasing role of modern 9-1-1 communication channels, such as live video, 2-way text, smartwatch notifications, plus more. In honor of National First Responders’ Day, NCT9-1-1 and RapidDeploy, the leading cloud-native platform for public safety, are asking the public to remember essential guidelines when facing emergencies and contacting 9-1-1.


To support National First Responders Day, an annual celebration on October 28th, dedicated to recognizing the brave individuals, from dispatchers to telecommunicators to field responders, NCT9-1-1 and RapidDeploy have created vital tips when calling 9-1-1. Additionally, while launched in 2020, the Learn 9-1-1 application, a 9-1-1 simulator aimed at teaching citizens how to successfully call or text 9-1-1, is now re-emphasizing the need to educate the public on text capabilities.


“Our first responders are dedicated to delivering the most effective emergency response for our communities and we want to extend our gratitude to them on National First Responders Day by sharing tips that can transform and improve incident response,” said Christy Williams, Director, NCT9-1-1. “With the advancements in Next Generation 9-1-1, it is important that we continue to educate the public on the most up-to-date best practices when placing an emergency call to one of our 40 plus Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs).”


When it comes to contacting 9-1-1, here’s the following recommendations and guidance:


  • Don’t Hang Up: Accidental 9-1-1 calls happen—whether it’s a pocket dial, a misdial, or a child playing with a phone. If you mistakenly dial 9-1-1, do not hang up immediately. Once a call is initiated, it must be answered by a dispatcher or telecommunicator at an ECC. Stay on the line, explain the accidental call, and answer their questions.


  • Know Your Location: Knowing your exact location is crucial for a swift emergency response. Providing your location information saves time, reduces stress, and enables more effective and efficient response. In instances where you don’t know your location, NG9-1-1 Mapping solutions can help to pinpoint your whereabouts and get responders on the scene quickly.


  • Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t: Texting to-and-from 9-1-1 is available in NCT9-1-1’s service area. While calling is the most efficient, there are multiple situations when texting can be a viable communication method. Real-time two-way texting is an effective way to provide your location, describe the nature of your emergency, communicate with members of the Deaf and Hard of hearing communities, for individuals that speak different languages, or find themselves in situations that are not safe to speak.


  • Consider Other Forms of Communication: Telecommunicators can also initiate live video streaming between them and the caller. With RapidVideo, a video capability from NCT9-1-1’s NG9-1-1 partner RapidDeploy, citizens can show the telecommunicator exactly what they are seeing. This provides transformative situational awareness and critical intelligence into the emergency. Alternatively, smartwatches can automatically notify ECCs of an emergency, providing location and medical information, along with a voice channel for speaking with the caller. Don’t forget about accessing digital methods of communication in critical moments.
    • For example, Northern Ellis Emergency Dispatch received a smartwatch fall detection call, which provided the ECC an open line to the man wearing the device. Additional information included his GPS coordinates and the caller’s medical history information, which was previously input by the patient into the smartwatch. Through the open line, the telecommunicator heard breathing, but the man was unresponsive to their questions. Thanks to modern communications technology like a smartwatch, combined with NG9-1-1 solutions from RapidDeploy, the telecommunicator pinpointed the patient’s location on the map inside the agency and see that the patient had preexisting health conditions. This helped them to dispatch the right emergency response teams in the most efficient amount of time.


  • Remember Telecommunicators Are People Too: Always keep in mind that there’s a human being on the other end of the line. Show compassion and respect to the 9-1-1 heroes who answer your calls, as they work diligently to ensure your safety.


“The digital age has ushered in a new set of expectations for emergency response where precision, immediacy, and diversified communication channels are now expected, especially when lives are on the line. We are proud to partner with customers like NCT9-1-1 who have helped to transform emergency response with their transition to NG9-1-1,” said Steve Raucher, CEO and Co-founder. “National First Responders Day is the perfect moment to further educate the public on the advancements in 9-1-1, and provide guidance on best practices for placing emergency calls. If we each do our part, we can save more lives.”


About North Central Texas Emergency Communications District:

The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) was created pursuant to Chapter 772, Subchapter H, of the Texas Health and Safety Code.  NCT9-1-1 is engaged in the planning, implementation, and maintenance of an emergency 9-1-1 system for more than 40 Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) in 13 counties surrounding the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.  NCT9-1-1 serves a population of 1.7 million and covers 10,800+ square miles.


About RapidDeploy:

Founded in 2016, and based in Austin, TX, RapidDeploy is the leading cloud-native platform for public safety. We provide Telecommunicators, First Responders, and 911 agencies with Next Generation solutions that deliver intelligent information and drive better outcomes in mission-critical situations. With a curated partner network, our platform combines mobile signals, critical datasets, and call information into a single operating system, improving emergency response with location accuracy, situational awareness, unified communications, and on-demand insights. Our products improve outcomes and ultimately save lives. In 2023, RapidDeploy earned recognition for the 5th year in a row as a prominent company to watch on the GovTech 100 list, and as one of the best places to work by Built In. Learn more at

Knowing Your Location Really Matters When You Dial 9-1-1

Knowing Your Location Really Matters When You Dial 9-1-1

We all know that in times of emergency, the three magic numbers – 9-1-1 – are like a superhero’s hotline to save the day. But here’s the deal: it’s not just about dialing those numbers; it’s about making sure you know your location. Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) aren’t always able to pinpoint your exact location, so knowing where you are based on addresses and landmarks really matters. Knowing where you are is like the secret sauce to getting the help you need ASAP. So, let’s break it down and chat about why knowing your location is the most important thing when calling 9-1-1.


Time is of the Essence

When you’re in a jam, every second counts, right? Well, knowing where you are cuts down on all that guesswork. Imagine this: you’re at a park, and your friend suddenly needs help. Telling the 9-1-1 telecommunicator you’re at “that park near my aunt’s house” isn’t going to cut it. But if you know you’re at “Sunshine Park, 123 Elm Street,” boom! Help is on the way. Those precious minutes could be a game-changer, especially in a medical emergency.


Lost in the Wilderness or Traveling? No Problem!

Emergencies don’t care if you’re in your comfy living room or hiking the wildest trails. When you’re out traveling or exploring new territories, knowing your exact location becomes your lifeline. Whether you’re on a backpacking adventure or just got lost in a maze-like convention center, having your location handy helps first responders find you, even in the middle of nowhere. Check out our blog on what3words to learn more about the app that can help locate you, even if you’re in the wilderness.


It’s About Public Safety, Too

When you share your location, you’re not just helping yourself; you’re aiding your whole community. Think about it: if an emergency is brewing in your area, knowing your location helps first responders understand the big picture. They can then send the right help to you and others who might be affected. It’s like being a local hero without even realizing it!


Keep Calm and Share Your Location

Emergencies are stressful – no doubt about it. But knowing where you are and sharing it with the 9-1-1 telecommunicator can be a game-changer. It lets you feel a little more in control, knowing that help is en route, and they know exactly where to find you. Less stress, less panic, and more confidence when it matters most.


Get the Right Help, Right Away

Different situations need different responses. Knowing your location helps 9-1-1 telecommunicators  figure out what kind of assistance you need. Are you stuck in a burning building? Are you at home with a medical emergency? Your location helps first responders plan their approach and get you the help tailored to your specific needs. 


In a nutshell, knowing where you are when you dial 9-1-1 is like the secret ingredient to a successful emergency response. It saves time, reduces stress, and ensures that help finds you ASAP, no matter where you are. So, remember, the next time you’re in a jam, don’t just dial those three magic numbers – know your location, too. It’s your ticket to a quicker response and peace of mind when it counts the most. Stay safe, folks!


Press Release: Regional Telecommunicator Academy Graduates Class #015

Press Release: Regional Telecommunicator Academy Graduates Class #015

ARLINGTON, Texas, August 21, 2023 — The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) graduated 20 9-1-1 telecommunicators from its Regional Telecommunicator Academy (RTA) Class #015 on August 4th in Arlington. This class includes recruits from 14 different agencies, including Cleburne Police Department, Dallas College Police Department, Decatur Police Department, Forney Police Department, Murphy Police Department, Waxahachie Police Department.

The graduating recruits have completed a rigorous four-week program that teaches equipment use, state mandates and regulations, how to handle emergency communications situations such as active shootings, and more. Texas is the only state in the country that requires its 9-1-1 telecommunicators to be licensed alongside peace officers and jailers, and NCT9-1-1 hosts the only 9-1-1 telecommunicator academy in the state. The district welcomes recruits from outside its region to participate and this year includes participants from Irving Police Department and SMU Police Department.


“At the academy, we’re not just training people to fill positions,” said NCT9-1-1 Training Coordinator Bret Batchelor. “We’re building a community of resiliency and comradery with our recruits. I want them to walk away with the skills to not only be successful at their new jobs, but to build a lifelong career as a 9-1-1 telecommunicator and to one day pass on their experiences to the next generation of dispatchers.”


The program has graduated recruits from all over Texas and Arkansas since its inception in February of 2016 and continues to grow with classes held twice a year in the winter and summer.


About the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District

The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) is responsible for 40 plus Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs) in the 13 counties surrounding the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The district supports these ECCs through maintaining and upgrading 9-1-1 equipment, providing up-to-date mapping information, training 9-1-1 telecommunicators, educating the public on the proper use of 9-1-1, and monitoring ECC functionality and compliances. NCT9-1-1 serves a population of 1.7 million and 10,000+ square miles.

Learn 9-1-1: The 9-1-1 Simulator App

Learn 9-1-1: The 9-1-1 Simulator App

Educators are continuously looking for new and innovative ways to teach citizens how to successfully call or text to 9-1-1. To make the process more engaging, the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) developed a free 9-1-1 simulator app for both Android and Apple devices. The Learn 9-1-1 simulator app was designed to be the perfect educational tool to demonstrate how to successfully reach 9-1-1.

About the App

The Learn 9-1-1 simulator app works through the activation of two separate phones. Both cellular phones are attached to one account on the Learn 9-1-1 simulator app. The app was designed to be used by a minimum of two people and gives the scenario of being a 9-1-1 caller and portraying a 9-1-1 telecommunicator.

How to use it

To use the Learn 9-1-1 simulator app, users first need an account. Users can request an account by visiting the NCT9-1-1 website and following the simple instructions. After you have submitted, go to your device’s app store, and download the Learn 9-1-1 simulator app. Once the account has been created, you will receive an email with your login credentials and how to access your account. Be advised that the email with your login credentials may be received in your Spam or Junk folder, so please ensure to check there. After receiving your login credentials, you can then access the Learn 9-1-1 simulator website to log in to your account and create an event pin. An event pin is required to utilize the app as it is shared with others you are educating or demonstrating with. Each event will require a new event pin. Upon successfully creating an event pin, the final step is entering the event pin on the Learn 9-1-1 simulator app and selecting the type of session you want to demonstrate: 9-1-1 call or a text-to-9-1-1 session.


The Learn 9-1-1 simulator app was designed to be user friendly and functional. NCT9-1-1 wants to make learning how to successfully call 9-1-1 as easy as possible! If you have questions related to the 9-1-1 simulator app, please email the 9-1-1 Operations Team at