Through the wonders of technology, Enid Police Department’s dispatchers are having more accurate locations for cellphone users calling 911.
That’s because RapidSOS software can pinpoint cellphone callers, in turn improving response times for emergency personnel to arrive on the scene when seconds count.
Our nation’s 50-year-old legacy 911 center was geared for landlines, and that voice-only connection provides virtually no data to first responders.
With previous technology, most 911 calls from cellphones used triangulation between towers to determine a caller’s locations. The number of towers in an area could prevent narrowing down a caller’s location to a manageable area.
With the RapidSOS system, data is sent from Apple and Andriod phones along with high-tech apps such as Uber, smartwatches and wifi-connected cars and homes. That closes areas of uncertainty.
“It’s going from hundreds of feet down to possible 4 or 5 feet. Not always, because it’s still contingent upon how many sources of information it has to bid for that,” Lt. Warren Wilson said. “When we send officers to an area, almost everybody is using cellphones. The area gets smaller and smaller the more information RapidSOS gets for us.”
Kudos to EPD for getting next-generation technology to improve the pinpointing of 911 callers.