There are some great innovative technologies emerging to assist public safety dispatchers that are available for FREE to your PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). These products work in tandem with your already existing software. They work regardless of what CAD system you already have because they do not rely on your existing products. All they require is an internet connection!
In an emergency seconds matter. The more accurate information on WHAT the complaint is available to dispatchers, the smoother the outcome.
Perhaps you have heard of these products, but really don’t know how they can assist you with your callers. I’m talking about programs and initiatives like fall detection services, smartwatches, and the RapidSOS portal. The best part is they are all available FREE to your center and to your community!
We’re highlighting some of our favorite programs and tools to share with call takers, 911 centers and the community.
If you are a Next Gen 911 PSAP, you may have heard of RapidSOS, who partnered with 911 to help display up-to-date GIS information. But did you know there is a RapidSOS web-based portal available as well? This portal can yield useful caller specific information that can aid in your response. RapidSOS has been partnering with other amazing resources and products to help bring you the most up–to-date personalized information during a 911 call. Uber, anyone?
”Help, I’ve fallen and can’t call for help, but my medical device or smartphone can!
Most of us, ahem, of a certain age, will remember the commercials for Life Alert products: “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up.” Technology of the past required a person to initiate the call for help. Tech innovation is bringing us to a new level. Several new medical devices and services have automatic fall detection and location tracking, as well as utilize smartphones or smartwatches.
Today, the public has many choices available, and there are different medical alert devices and smart devices available to choose from.
Emergency Health Profiles and RapidSOS Integration
Smart devices may activate a call to 911, but they alone cannot provide detailed medical information on the caller. But if a caller has registered an emergency profile, that information will be available with select the 911 call.
If your 911 center is already registered on the RapidSOS portal, you may know that inputting a 911 call number into the portal can yield a more dispatchable location for that caller or track a moving caller. But did you know if that caller has registered an Emergency Health Profile, that information will be available in the portal as well?
Have you and your community registered yet?
When I first learned of these products, I immediately registered a profile for my daughter because she has several life-threatening allergies. Now that she’s growing up and starting to drive, I want to equip her with every available option to best help her should she be in a medical crisis. What parent wouldn’t want to provide 911 with their child’s specific medical information? Especially, if it could save their lives.
I also recently enrolled my diabetic father in the Lively cell phone service, which has a medical alert feature built into it. If he needs to call 911 for any emergency, he can activate the red button on his cell phone and his medical profile pushes to the RapidSOS portal where the 911 dispatcher can have access to it.
Spread the Word
If you are a PSAP center already using the RapidSOS portal, hopefully you have ensured your dispatchers are training on these evolving advancements. The RapidSOS portal has free trainings available. If you are not registered with the portal, consider asking your center to enroll!
The next step a PSAP can take is to inform their community of their ability to use these programs. This adds an additional layer to a caller’s own safety by registering their information in an emergency health profile or utilizing their smart device features for fall detection and location tracking.
The RapidSOS portal also has resources to assist PSAPs in creating a media release to their community. Consider a fun social media post, inform your community resource police officers, or try sending a dispatcher into the local senior center to educate them.
Remember, partnering with your community for education on emerging technologies can assist your responders with more efficient responses and provides better quality of service to your community. And best of all, this is FREE!
About the Author
Jennifer Janda-Law brings over 20 years’ experience in the public safety industry working in dispatch centers, volunteering for her Fire EMS team and served as a director of a local combination center. JJ has trained new dispatchers, police officers and academy recruits in First Responder and CPR courses. She is a PowerPhone Implementation Manager.