911 centers that cannot afford to update their technology may not be able to identify proper locations and caller information. Technology updates in the business environment are occurring at a faster pace than 911 can keep up leaving consumers to wonder why. Even within a PSAP, there is frustration that Uber can be tracked directly to the customer’s location and includes pictures of the driver, vehicle, and license plate yet 911 still struggles to find correct locations for mobile callers. The loss of skilled and tech-savvy staff due to outdated equipment may also hamper services. According to an article from Forbes, as of 2018, only 31% of 911 call centers are using the most up‐to‐date technology and software available in their state. This leaves the rest of the centers struggling to keep up with consumer expectations for technology changes and evolving trends.
The article goes on to say that more than half of states still do not have any statewide standard requirements to improve communications between first responders and public safety agencies. The inability to communicate with responders due to poor equipment has cost communities millions of dollars in lost revenue. In fact, many have entirely shut down their legacy systems rather than upgrade. This lost income hurts the city and state as a whole and can also be felt by residents in the form of higher phone bills and higher emergency services taxes. Some cities have come up with creative solutions such as installing video cameras in public spaces or using Bluetooth devices to pinpoint the location of a caller in order better to direct them to the nearest emergency personnel center. In 2019, New York City tested drones with thermal imaging capabilities for use in medical emergencies. With the fast‐paced changes in technology, 911 centers will continue to struggle if they do not upgrade their equipment.