When people talk about the emergency response system of tomorrow, the predictions are breathtaking: firefighting drones, human-operated robots, real-time 3-D simulations and more.
While some of that may sound more like science fiction than a real possibility – especially given the budgetary and resource concerns facing public safety – there are sound emergency communications investments that departments can make today to prepare for tomorrow.
Let’s take a look at ways that public safety can prepare for the emergency response system of the future.
Digital Two-Way Radios
One of the best ways for departments to lay the groundwork for the future is to switch from analog two-way radios to digital if they haven’t already. That goes for firefighters and police radio.
In addition to interoperability, digital two-way radios offer a longer service range, stronger reception and superior audio quality.
If you’re not ready to transition your full fleet of radios to digital, keep in mind that many devices are built to work with analog as well, allowing for a gradual transition.
Enhanced Dispatch Center Equipment
Next generation 911, or NG911, represents the future of public safety. In order to be ready for the added capabilities of text, video and enhanced location services, departments need to update their dispatch center emergency equipment.
Dispatch center consolidation has allowed some jurisdictions to pool their resources for upgrades, leaving their old equipment behind. For agencies that aren’t consolidating, that discarded equipment can provide a step in the right direction.
The Power of Social Media
Social media may not have the technical sophistication of a frequency scanner or emergency radio, but public safety agencies can still harness its power for disaster response and as part of a comprehensive emergency response system.
Facebook and Twitter, in particular, are important tools for quickly sharing and receiving information during emergencies, for agencies and civilians alike.
If social media isn’t part of your agency’s emergency response system, it’s worth investigating how other departments have put it to good use during large-scale weather events and incidents.
Get Ready for Tomorrow Today
With investments both big and small, departments can begin preparing for the emergency response system of the future while still responding to the needs of the present.