Cloud-based 911 for faster emergency response

Hussain Muthaffar / EyeEm via Getty Images

With its interactive emergency communication response platform and access to a location data clearinghouse, the Rio Grande Council of Governments can speed help to 911 callers, even if they don’t know where they are.

It used to be that people stranded in the desert of western Texas started fires to draw attention to their location. Since February, however, anyone lost in the vast jurisdiction of the Rio Grande Council of Governments (RIOCOG), which covers 25,516 square miles, can call 911 and show a picture of exactly where they are.

“Because we’re positioned right on the U.S./Mexico border, we do have a lot of migrants coming over not knowing the language, not knowing where they’re at; they’re lost,” said Marisa Quintanilla, regional services director at RIOCOG. “There’s no [way] to say, ‘I’m by this fire station,’ ‘I’m by the water tower’ or anything like that. For them to be able to click on the link and show their camera, and to see where they’re at and provide that to the dispatcher, to the call taker, that is huge. Then that call taker can go ahead and provide the precise location of that individual to provide them emergency services.”

Powering that capability is a fully cloud-based 911 contact center that uses Carbyne’s APEX, a secure, interactive emergency communication response platform for public safety and call management. The company has partnered with Amazon Web Services’ GovCloud and RapidSOS, which provides a free clearinghouse of location and other real-time data to public safety organizations.

The integration allows call takers to send a link for callers to click to share their screen or provide photos, videos and other geolocation and situation information that dispatchers can give to responders. The result is faster response – and emergency crews arriving equipped with the right tools to handle the incident.

For instance, during a pilot test of APEX in Georgia, the average time to locate callers fell from 23 minutes to three minutes.

Although Amir Elichai, Carbyne founder and CEO, said there are no connectivity requirements to use APEX, RIOCOG upgraded some circuits and increased bandwidth to maximize its capabilities. It also implemented better routers to be able to receive the data associated with calls.

Other APEX features include real-time transcription, or speech-to-text capabilities; live closed-captioning; and predefined help requests. By the end of this quarter, RIOCOG will start testing language translation, with a plan for it to go live in the last quarter of the year.

“The biggest challenge that we faced for many years was basically that we did not have the technology infrastructure to be able to provide accurate call information as well as reliable caller information,” Quintanilla said. “Also … all of our 911 equipment was still on the legacy network, meaning that you still had the hardware, the big boxes, the big servers to be able to deliver that 911 call.”

That also meant that when something failed at one of RIOCOG’s five rural public safety answering points (PSAPs), staff had to wait for a technician to get out there.

Moving to the cloud means the PSAPs can now automatically reroute calls to another location if one goes down. It also means that RIOCOG retired some of those legacy systems and their associated recurring costs, saving the organization $200,000 a year.

The migration came about when the Commission on State Emergency Communications, RIOCOG’s funding agency, asked the group to move to an i3 platform, designed to provide accurate caller and location information, and to transition to the Emergency Services IP Network, or ESInet, which supports Next Generation 911. RIOCOG’s vendor at the time was unable to support those changes, and Quintanilla discovered APEX in researching other options.

“It’s amazing to be able to deploy these services, to have those capabilities to deploy those first responders to be able to save people’s lives,” Quintanilla said.

RIOCOG is the first organization in Texas to adopt APEX. The Orleans Parish Communication District  in Louisiana also uses APEX for 911 response, but Carbyne’s Elichai said another 14 deployments will come online this year nationwide, including some Global Medical Response sites. GMR is the largest emergency management system provider in the United States.

In July, Carbyne and GMR launched Bridge Desk, a distributed asset management solution that aggregates multiple data sources into one unified geographic information system. 

“This gives the GMR senior leadership full-time awareness of all their assets that are distributed throughout the country, from ambulances to …  planes that are being distributed for a national disaster,” Elichai said.

Additionally, GMR will replace legacy solutions at its 65 contact centers with APEX – starting with five this year – giving the organization the ability to work on and maintain a single environment.

“This is the way for the future. Eventually this is going to be mandated that all public safety answering points have this capability,” Quintanilla said.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.