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Video to 9-1-1 helps agencies find callers

Video to 9-1-1 helps agencies find callers

It’s clear that by adding live video and other media from the caller, emergency response evolves.

Eyes are on-scene faster, the situation at-hand is clearer, and each stakeholder can make more confident, better informed decisions that result in a higher likelihood that everyone comes home.

One way this evolution occurs: location.

Caller video: beyond mapped location

Advances in emergency technology have helped ensure that public safety agencies almost always have some idea of a caller’s location. Like all technology, however, these processes have their limits. Here’s three examples of video helping 9-1-1 find callers:

What’s your room number?

GPS location can’t tell you what hotel room someone is in while they’re suffering from a medical emergency. Video can.

One extraordinary dispatcher earned a Prepared T.O.P. Save Award by doing just that.

While working to address an emergency that arrived via the non-emergency line AND outside of their jurisdiction, thus rendering their standard location processes ineffective, the dispatcher used video from the caller to help determine exactly where they were as they suffered from a seizure and could not verbally describe it.

Go tell it on a mountain

Another dispatcher won the T.O.P. Save award by using video to determine a caller’s location on the side of a mountain. Yes, you read that right. Caller video was used to help rescuers see exactly where a stranded climber was on a cliff face.

In that case, GPS coordinates had already been provided - but video gave the final piece of the (harrowing) puzzle.

Can you tell me what this tree is? Yes we can.

In Bayfield, Wisconsin, one center uses video to gather context clues when tourists get lost on one of the many trails in the area:

“We have countless, countless trails. Forestry trails, snowmobile trails, ATV trails…you’ve got all the forest roads, fire roads, and you get out there and it might be a road but you wont have a sign on it until you get to the end of it. People get very confused out here and don’t know what direction is north or south…A big challenge for us is locating and getting to a person, for example a snowmobile accident.”

“With Prepared, if the person is able to open up that link and show us what’s around them…we’re able to recognize these different landmarks that are nothing to them but, to me, I’m like, ‘Oh, thats Rambles Corner.’ There’s no sign that says that but we know it.”

In each of these cases, video proved to be an essential asset or a valuable supplement for locating and helping 9-1-1 callers. They are also just a few of the many stories where video from the caller helped our heroic public safety professionals aid their community.

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