For decades, people have known to call “911” to easily reach police, fire, or emergency medical assistance from any phone in any location. Created in the late 1960s, the system was designed to work with the technology that existed at the time -- wired phones in residences and businesses.
As technology has evolved, “911” has kept pace, going from a landline system to a sophisticated labyrinth of new capabilities that can enhance any crisis response, better protecting people and communities.
Here’s a sampling of the new technology that is now available to many emergency agencies:
- Multimedia transmissions: Today’s 911 systems can receive maps, videos, and photos, which can be transmitted instantly to first responders to provide more accurate information about the emergency. For example, with the ability to “see” a live feed from the inside of a bank, responders to a 911 hostage situation can ascertain the number of suspects, weapons, and hostages, which can improve response techniques and safety.
- More efficient communications: New 911 systems allow for GPS location of callers, faster and more accurately than ever before. And because photos and images of maps and license plates can be instantly transmitted, time is saved from having a dispatcher recite information from the caller. Those visuals can then be sent across multiple agencies to further improve response.
- Greater safety: Evolving technologies have made it possible to shave tens of seconds off caller hold times, which can make a critical difference in emergency situations like home invasions or domestic violence. The newer technologies can also efficiently manage and reroute calls to other call centers ensuring fast responses with no back-ups during large-scale natural disasters requiring disaster response.
- Texting: In addition, the ability to text 911 has empowered callers in situations in which they cannot make a call or speak without endangering themselves. The ability to text has also created greater safety for callers who are hearing- or speech-impaired.
- Synergies: With the expanded capabilities in receiving and sharing information, new 911 communication offerings can make it possible for emergency response agencies to consolidate resources for call centers and backup systems. Employees can be integrated and synergies can be achieved to not only save lives, but also save money.
ChiComm features several 911 systems add-ons that can revamp existing 911 systems and enhance crisis response, bringing together multiple agencies, personnel, and technologies. For more information, contact Chicago Communications today.