The state of California will overhaul all of its emergency call centers with a new technology in hopes of improving its location accuracy and situational awareness.
RapidDeploy is a new, cloud-based system that will improve location accuracy and natural disaster awareness for responders with live data feeds for fires, earthquakes, flooding, traffic, and incidents.
The California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) confirmed Monday it awarded a contract to RapidDeploy to install this technology across all 440 California 911 call centers will be updated with this technology.
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“Most technology that serves public safety and 911 today is at least one generation out of date – we’re talking 15 to 25 years out of date,” said Steven Raucher, CEO and co-founder of RapidDeploy. “They wouldn’t know live traffic. They wouldn’t be able to give turn-by-turn navigation. They wouldn’t know the location of the handset that’s calling 911.”
Roughly half of all calls that come into 911 centers do not have a dispatchable address attached to them, Raucher said.
“A lot of solutions we take for granted every day, right, like, Uber and meal delivery things can find you with an app seamlessly and 911 can’t do that today,” Raucher told NBC 7.
There are more than 6,000 different 911 call centers in the country, with major discrepancies between them, including differences in technology and governance.
Now, RapidDeploy and Cal OES are trying to change that in California, with the technology's "future-proof cloud architecture," according to RapidDeploy's blog.
Four pilot 911 centers have already begun using RapidDeploy in Northern California, and soon more centers will start using the new technology, according to Jamison Peevyhouse, president of the National Emergency Number Association.
“We always say that 911 saves seconds and seconds saves lives. When you think about location accuracy and how long it takes us to actually find that person first before we can even send a resource to their need. Now, we’re cutting that time down by sometimes minutes,” Peevyhouse told NBC 7. ”We’re seeing lives being saved on a scale that we’ve never even dreamed.”
The RapidDeploy rollout will be completed by fall 2019.
Ed. Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly attributed information as from Cal OES. We have corrected the information from RapidDeploy and regret the error.