Iredell County Emergency Communications deploys RapidSOS

Posted at 10:11 AM on Jul 7, 2019


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Iredell County Emergency Communications has deployed RapidSOS, a cell phone location service that utilizes a cell phone subscriber's data plan to help locate 9-1-1 callers.

In an emergency, every second counts. One of the most vital pieces of information a 911 telecommunicator can get is the caller’s location. Getting this information quickly can mean the difference between life and death.

Unfortunately, not every caller can provide ECOM with this information so telecommunicators have to rely on phone GPS pinging technology, known as Phase 2, to get the location of the caller by locating their phone using cell towers to determine the area they are calling from.

The information received from the phone GPS can vary from right on target to miles away from the caller's location, which can delay response time.

In order to improve service throughout Iredell County, ECOM telecommunicators will input the caller’s cell phone number into the RapidSOS website, which then pinpoints the phone within 15 feet.

This technology also allows the 911 telecommunicator to track the phone for 30 minutes after disconnection to assist in situations such as an abduction or domestic situation in which the caller is unable to stay on the line.

RapidSOS also has the capability to provide elevation information of the caller to assist with locating the caller in large multi-story buildings.

Cell phone users do not have to sign up for anything to have access to this service. ECOM can pinpoint a caller's location as long as they have a data plan on their phone.

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