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FRESH IDEAS IN PUBLIC SAFETY


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      • Zooming In Closer And Faster To The Citizen In Need

        Published Apr 26 2017, 6:14 PM by Reinhard Ekl
        • EMS
        • NG9-1-1 Dispatch
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement

        April is 9-1-1 Education Month. Throughout the month this blog series will highlight different aspects of the emergency response process, including what happens when you text or call 9-1-1, and will pay tribute to the women and men behind the phones. This April, take some time to learn something new about America’s emergency response system.

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        In late December 2014, Shannell Anderson was delivering papers in Atlanta around 4 a.m when she accidentally drove into a lake. She did what anyone would do, she took out her cell phone and dialed 9-1-1. Unfortunately, her call was routed to a neighboring county’s 9-1-1 center and her location wasn’t showing up on the dispatcher’s maps. Shannell knew her exact cross streets, but unfortunately the dispatcher wasn’t familiar with the area and didn’t have access to good wireless caller location or map data.

        It ultimately took responders over 20 minutes to get to her, and she tragically died a week later in the hospital. Unfortunately, and surprisingly to some, this story isn’t unique to Shannell. This story highlights some important facts to consider when you are calling 9-1-1 from a mobile phone.

        RAPIDSOS + MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS: SOLVING THE MOBILE LOCATION CHALLENGE

        The first thing dispatchers ask you when you call 9-1-1 is “What’s the location of your emergency?” That is because if you are calling from a mobile phone, the location information that dispatchers initially receive is based on the location of the cell-tower, not the caller, and can be of limited use in pinpointing a caller’s location, especially for calls made from indoor environments. The FCC estimates that over 10,000 lives could be saved annually with better location data. As people ditch landlines and rely solely on their mobile phones, the location technologies used by wireless carriers are just not quick enough to provide timely, accurate caller location.

        INTRODUCING AN INTEGRATED SOLUTION FOR FASTER, MORE ACCURATE 9-1-1 LOCATION 

        Through the RapidSOS integration with Motorola Solutions Emergency CallWorks software, call takers are able to query the RapidSOS NG911 (Next Generation 9-1-1) Clearinghouse to get precise handset location for 9-1-1 calls through technology that is already installed on millions of smartphone devices (no app required!). Rather than relying on imprecise and often delayed Phase 2 location, dispatchers are now able to get more closer and faster location that automatically updates.

        Location from RapidSOS does not rely on a singular source like GPS (which only works outdoors) or cell tower triangulation (which works everywhere, but is very imprecise). Instead, RapidSOS leverages all enabled sensors on the device, including WiFi access Points, Bluetooth beacons and more. For the first time in Public Safety, location accuracy will be similar to the capabilities of commercial hybrid location services like Google Maps that citizens are used to.

        THE FUTURE: UNPRECEDENTED SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

        It doesn’t stop at location for wireless 9-1-1 calls. Motorola Solutions is working to integrate the full capabilities of the RapidSOS NG9-1-1 Clearinghouse into the entire emergency response workflow so first responders have unprecedented situational awareness.

        Want to learn more? Attend the upcoming Motorola Solutions Smart Public Safety Webinar about how RapidSOS and Motorola are working together to provide precise location and enhanced data to 9-1-1 call takers, dispatchers and first responders through the newest version of Emergency CallWorks products.

        Reinhard Ekl is RapidSOS Director of Product and 9-1-1.

      • EMPOWERING THE HEARING DISABLED TO CONTACT 9-1-1 VIA TEXT

        Published Apr 19 2017, 2:17 PM by Gary Bell
        • EMS
        • NG9-1-1 Dispatch
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement

         

         

         

         

         

        April is 9-1-1 Education Month. Throughout the month this blog series will highlight many aspects of the emergency response and pay tribute to the men and women behind the call for help.  

        Within the deaf community, the process to get emergency help can be cumbersome.  It often requires the hearing-disabled person to use an older analog TDD system or contact a 711 relay center which then translates text and voice between a deaf individual and the 9-1-1 operator.

        Technology has evolved over the years whereas TTY devices have commonly become less essential for day to day interactions for the hearing or speech disabled. Many now use mobile apps, instant messaging, E-mail, video chat or text messages as a form of communications with close family, friends and other associates.

        The latest technology, Text to 9-1-1, can be a life and time saving tool for about 15% of the population(1), those suffering from a hearing loss. The person in need simply uses a familiar cell phone text process to send a message directly to the 9-1-1 center. No need to go through a relay center or use antiquated analog TDD technology.  

        Empowering citizens in uncomfortable situations to contact our 9-1-1 center in the most convenient way possible is Waukesha County’s goal.  What we want to teach our citizens is “CALL IF YOU CAN, TEXT IF YOU CAN’T “.   A voice call is still the best choice since the dialog between the dispatcher and citizen is valuable, but text is a viable alternative and critical for those who are unable to speak.  

        Not only can Text to 9-1-1 help the hearing and speech disabled community, but it is also a critical tool for those in difficult situations where a voice call might put them in harm’s way, for example a home invasion or domestic abuse.  

        Whereas the Text to 9-1-1 can be a life saving addition to any 9-1-1- system, there are some limitations. Carriers do not provide location information with a text, so it is imperative the user sends location information along with the call for help. And just like regular text messages, they can take longer to receive and may be received out of order or not at all.    

        Only about 700 of the over 5800 PSAPS in the US have text to 9-1-1 capabilities. This technology is a critical addition to any NG9-1-1 system, not as a standalone system but as an integrated, public safety grade process with other voice handling operations. Answering the call from the hearing and speech disabled community is a critical benefit of adding Text-to 9-1-1.

        Gary Bell, ENP,  Director of the Waukesha County Department of Emergency Preparedness.

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        Waukesha County, Wisconsin recently went live (March 2017) with a public safety grade text to 9-1-1 solution utilizing Motorola Solutions Emergency CallWorks 9-1-1 system. Our system can now receive voice calls and text messages. Currently Waukesha, along with the rest of the state of Wisconsin does not receive MMS messaging to include: group text, pictures or videos but through an ESINet implementation, plans to address this in the future. 

        For more information on Waukesha County Text to 9-1-1 capabilities check out the following news articles:

        “We want to make sure our citizens are safe:” New text-to-911 service unveiled in Waukesha Co.

        Text-to-911 now available in Waukesha County

        Reference 1: www.nidcd.nih.gov/search/site/Deaf%20population%20statistic

      • SOME THINGS CAN BE MADE EASIER! – SAVE TIME AND RESOURCES WITH EXPERT APX DEVICE MANAGEMENT SERVICES

        Published Apr 17 2017, 1:53 PM by Robert Buethe
        • EMS
        • Services
        • System Management
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement

        If you’re operating a mission-critical network with hundreds to thousands of APX radios, you already know that device management is an arduous undertaking. With all the maintenance, programming and changes you make, it still doesn’t guarantee you’ll maximize performance. How can you ensure your devices operate effectively and that every critical call gets through?

        If you don’t have the time and resources to adequately support your mission-critical devices, you should seek experienced resources that can help. You can now enlist device management experts at Motorola Solutions who can expedite programming, ensure correct connectivity, help you take advantage of all the applications available to you, and provide the right hardware and software support needed.

        Top Three Reasons To Seek Expert Device Management Services:

        1. You need an intelligent hardware and software maintenance plan. This includes full reporting and analysis of your radio performance to know precisely which radios need to be maintained. With better prioritization, you could save significant time and money with more accurate support rather than conducting routine mass updates.
        2. You will experience expedited programming and configuration changes. With enhanced radio technology comes more complexity in programming. Deploying new radios—without disrupting your service—is always a challenge. Your daily routine tasks to add and remove subscribers, or to adjust talk groups is time consuming. Additionally, if you don’t assess the device and network interdependencies, your radio communications may be negatively impacted. By transferring this responsibility to a team dedicated to your radios, you can free up your resources to keep focus on your core mission.
        3. You can take full advantage of all radio capabilities. If you’re using APX radios, no one knows your radios better than us. Freeing you from the time and hassle in programming and showing you how to improve the use of your radios can be a game changer for your organization. 

        If minimizing downtime, increasing operational readiness and lowering your costs related to managing your two-way radio fleet sounds appealing, discover how we can help you today with APX Services.

        We also held a webinar on Improving Device Management that expands further on how you can take action to improve your land mobile radio performance.

        Robert D. Buethe is MSSSI Global Vice President for Managed and Support Services.

      • OVER 60% OF NETWORK OUTAGES ARE FROM NATURAL DISASTERS - BE PREPARED!

        Published Apr 06 2017, 7:13 PM by Robert Buethe
        • EMS
        • National Government Security
        • Services
        • System Management
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement

        Though built for resiliency, land mobile radio (LMR) systems are not exempt from faults. And, with weather getting more unpredictable and extreme throughout the U.S., critical network events can multiply during catastrophes. Mission-critical operations require having a disaster management plan to ensure network uptime.  

        Plan for the unpredictable. Most cities, states and countries have emergency management plans. Become familiar with the plans outlined for varying degrees of emergencies and how your network operations team should function in these situations. Your plans should include specific procedures for redundancies, provisioning, onsite support, power supply failures, spare parts management and much more. Catastrophes happen with and without notice. Having a set plan, and more importantly, conducting periodic drills based on that plan, makes you better prepared for either situation.

        Assess your overall system management. Outages can put public safety at risk.  Do you have all the necessary skills required to plan, operate and optimize your system performance? Leveraging a strategy that augments your operations with the right mission-critical expertise can help you maximize your technology investment, improve resiliency and ensure proper redundancies exist for the best coverage and connectivity in any situation.

        Preparing for network issues as they arise is imperative to public safety ground operations during catastrophes. Read more about how our managed services team ensures communication among first responders in South Carolina during the 1000-year flood in our Mission-Critical Disaster Management Use Case.

        Robert D. Buethe is MSSSI Global Vice President for Managed and Support Services.

      • 9-1-1 Education Month: How Much Do You Know About 9-1-1?

        Published Apr 05 2017, 8:38 PM by Paul Cizek
        • EMS
        • Dispatch Software
        • NG9-1-1 Dispatch
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement

        April is 9-1-1 Education Month. Throughout the month this blog series will highlight many aspects of the emergency response and pay tribute to the men and women behind the call for help.  

        It is estimated that on average, individuals in the U.S. and Canada will call for emergency support at least twice during their lifetime. On the other side of the phone is a team of highly trained professionals working hard and following a finely tuned process to get you the help you need.This April, take some time to learn something new about America’s emergency response system.

        To start off, let’s test your knowledge on how much you already know about 9-1-1.  

        But don’t let the knowledge stop at end of this quiz! Join our Smart Public Safety Webinar on April 19th to learn more about how 9-1-1 call takers focus on capturing citizen information to initiate a faster response.

        To continue learning about 9-1-1,listen to how Nashville Emergency Communications Center enhanced safety for citizens and tourist through smart dispatch integration. 

        *Statistics in this blog are sourced from Random Facts and Interesting Trivia for the Curious Mind

        Paul Cizek is Director of NG9-1-1 Operations at Motorola Solutions.