9-1-1 Communications Centers

The Metropolitan Emergency Services Board (MESB) was formed by the counties in the Minneapolis / St. Paul metropolitan area to manage the 9-1-1 system at the regional level.  The counties recognized that telephone company service areas crossed municipal and county boundaries, there was value in sharing resources, and efficiency in having a single, go-to organization when they needed help with a 9-1-1 issue.

Today the MESB assists the metro area 9-1-1 communications centers by handling all 9-1-1 contracts between telecommunication service providers, the 9-1-1 Service Provider, the State 9-1-1 Program, and the MESB.  The MESB monitors and enforces telecommunications service provider compliance with the 9-1-1 system network and location database standards, ensuring that 9-1-1 calls get delivered to the correct 9-1-1 communications center with accurate caller information.   When a 9-1-1 call is received at an incorrect communications center or the data received contains errors and the communications center reports the issue 9-1-1 ANI/ALI Inquiry Form, the MESB takes the lead in getting the 9-1-1 Service Provider and the appropriate telecommunications service provider(s) to make the corrections within the time frames specified within the MESB standards and contracts.  This service allows the communications centers to concentrate their efforts on actually handling their calls instead of trying to work individually with 35-40 different telecommunications service providers.

The MESB recognized the power of using Geographic Information System (GIS) information to assist in providing accurate 9-1-1 call routing and efficient use of public safety responder resources.  A regional GIS dataset is maintained and provided to the communications centers on a regular basis.  The MESB GIS Management System analyzes and collects 9-1-1 call location error information in real time from each of the metro area communications centers.  This data is used to assist in keeping the regional GIS dataset and the 9-1-1 location database information accurate and reliable.  9-1-1 communications centers also use the MESB GIS data for their computer aided dispatch (CAD), mapping, and automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems.  The use of the MESB GIS dataset in all systems allows for consistent information displays for all responders and reduces or eliminates the expense of maintaining multiple GIS datasets at the local communication center level.

See also:  Metro ARMER System for information regarding the MESB role in managing the metro regional radio communications system.