C-All - The Future of Emergency Communications
Public safety communications have not changed much since the first emergency call was made on 30th June 1937 in London. Back then, the 999 service only operated within 12 miles and wouldn’t cover the entire UK until 39 years later in 1976. However, the devices that we use to communicate with emergency services, be they 999, 911, 112, or others, have evolved faster than anyone thought possible. As the communications technology has shifted from landlines to smartphones, public safety agencies have been struggling to keep up with the new wave of devices. What if the emergency services community no longer had to concern themselves with upcoming technology? What if there was already a solution available that bridged the gap between today and the next generation?
For many agencies around the globe, they’ve found themselves between a rock and a hard place: they want to be able to keep up with the changes in technology, but due to budget constrictions they have to plan technological upgrades ten years in advance. The reality is that the way we communicate shifts rapidly. Just think of where we were ten years ago: in 2007, Apple only took the wrappings off the iPhone a few months earlier, FaceTime wasn't even a glimpse in Steve Jobs' eye, and people were still using landlines.
Today, IP communications and video chatting are the standards, there's a GPS chip in every phone, and Uber can deliver you a pizza right to your door. Not one IT manager worth their salt could have predicted the rapid succession of technological innovations all the way back in 2007.
Today, public safety agencies are entirely on board with implementing 'next generation' solutions. For Public Safety Answering Points, 'next generation' means IP enabled infrastructure and enhanced communications that include video, GPS, and audio. However, for many states, cities, and countries there is a roadblock to adopting IP solutions.
Often, to gain the full benefit of IP communications, the citizens need to download a third-party app. For those in crisis situations, as many who call emergency services are, they need assistance immediately. Having to download an app to talk to 911, even if it provides a more accurate location or the ability to stream video, is an almost impossible task. By the time a user has reached the app store, whatever event they're witnessing is over, and they need an ambulance, police, or fire service.
For us, as a technology company, we knew that our app was only a stop-gap. We knew that it would be nearly impossible to circumvent the hard-wired three digits 911 (or 999, 112, 000, or others) that we know will connect us with first responders.
We set our Dev team a task: completely overhaul emergency communications so that citizens can stream video direct to 911 without an app. Today, we’re excited to announce that they have managed to do just that.
The Future Is Here:
We've labeled it c-All, the technology that brings the next generation of 911 to the public without the need for any application.
But what does this mean?
Primarily, we've just brought Next Generation 911 to everyone. Thanks to Reporty's new technology and ecosystem, any modern smartphone can now instantly provide an accurate location from the GPS chip, streaming video, AND text with 911.
For the average user, almost nothing will change. In an emergency, they'll call 911 as usual, and the Call Taker will automatically provide them with a way to enhance their call with video and location. Magic.
Reporty has deployed on almost every continent around the globe, and we've picked up some key insights and even more fascinating statistics. When using streaming video, a 911 Call Takers’ understanding of what's happening on a scene increases, times to dispatch decrease, and less time is spent dealing with qualifying questions such as "where are you?" and "what's happening?" All of this adds up to less time being spent on the phone, a faster response time by first responders, and fewer resources used (which means fewer tax dollars spent).
A lot has changed since the first 999 call 80 years ago. The way that we communicate has fundamentally shifted towards mobility and video. For years, the public safety industry struggled to keep up with the continually moving tides of technology. However, for the first time, emergency services have the chance to be able to not just 'catch up' with current technology but to prepare for the next generation of communications.