Pinpointing Wireless 9-1-1 Calls Keeps Getting Better

In Blog by Nancy MacDonald | VP Business Development October 16, 2018

Getting Better-01-1

Nancy MacDonald explains how PSAPs using Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling and Guardian Map can receive accurate device-based location information for 9-1-1 calls made with smartphones. 

It’s difficult not to pay attention when stories make the news about the challenge public safety answering points (PSAPs) face when trying to find someone calling 9-1-1 from a mobile phone. Headlines like Why Uber Can Find You but 9-1-1 Can’t are alarming because pinpointing accurate location data — and quickly — is a crucial first step in any emergency response situation.

The headlines, however, don’t paint the whole picture. The technology does exist. In fact, location-based
9-1-1 technology has never been better, and it continues to improve. It’s just that many PSAPs have yet to make the switch to IP-based systems that could allow them to take advantage of this powerful and essential Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) functionality.

PSAPs with the latest release of Solacom’s Guardian Map — available as part of a complete Guardian
9-1-1 Call Handling
solution — can view the wireless caller’s location on the map even before the call is answered, perform full call control from the map, and view caller location updates as a breadcrumb trail. 

Solacom Customers Benefit From Partnership With RapidSOS

The Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling solution also includes a powerful feature that allows it to query third-party databases to access device-based location information from smartphones when a 9-1-1 call is made. Currently, the solution can be easily configured to query the NG911 Clearinghouse from RapidSOS for this device-based location data. 

We’re really excited about the recent announcements by RapidSOS that the location data from devices running Apple’s iOS 12 and Google’s Android will now be available through the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse. Our partnership with RapidSOS ensures that this integration will give PSAPs equipped with the Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling solution more-accurate device-based location data call takers can use to help pinpoint wireless 9-1-1 calls.

How to Make the RapidSOS Clearinghouse Capabilities Work for You

The RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse is a NENA i3-compliant Location Information Server (LIS) accessible to authorized PSAPs through integration with the Solacom Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling solution. Once the feature is activated, the Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling solution can be easily configured to display RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse information. Location data from devices running Apple’s iOS 12 and Google’s Android will be displayed as supplemental data and will not replace existing Automatic Location Information (ALI) data presented to call takers. 

Make Sure Your PSAP Can Access Accurate and Fast Location Data

Solacom customers can migrate easily to the new release of Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling — which features the RapidSOS query option — as part of their ongoing service agreement. It’s a simple matter of requesting the upgrade. 

Both Solacom and RapidSOS have conducted extensive testing and user research to optimize how call takers can quickly and securely access caller location. We are proud to partner with RapidSOS to bring more-accurate, life-saving device location data to PSAPs. Many of our customers have already activated the device-based location query option, including PSAPs in Owensboro, Kentucky, and Maricopa Region in Arizona.

As part of a complete Solacom solution, Guardian Map is an advanced NG9-1-1 mapping application that displays accurate 9-1-1 call location for landline, wireless, and text calls, and allows call takers to manage those calls directly from a map on their screen.

In addition to information from the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse, Guardian Map leverages location information from a GIS database that could include numerous location details that are not available from today’s Master Street Address Guide (MSAG), Emergency Service Number (ESN), and ALI databases.

Depending on the GIS capabilities of each PSAP, Guardian Map can display aerial images, as well as oblique perspective imagery, shortest path, road blocks, and markers, enabling call takers to accurately guide first responders to the most-convenient entrance and the fastest path to a caller.

With millions of people choosing smartphones over landlines, switching to an NG9-1-1 system like the Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling solution with Guardian Map is the next logical choice for PSAPs that wish to obtain fast, accurate location data for all 9-1-1 calls. The technology exists; it’s simply a matter of equipping your PSAP.

Get More Information

Read more about the integration of the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse with the Solacom Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling solution.

Download our white paper Locating Callers Faster: Optimizing GIS Data and Mapping to Pinpoint Caller Location to learn more about how Solacom’s Guardian Map makes the most of GIS data.

Download the White Paper


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