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What are you expecting from the public safety cloud? PSAPs will realize ease, flexibility, cost-savings, services’ & personnel coordination and more...
January 31st marked the close of Stonepeak’s acquisition of Intrado Life & Safety. With that, Intrado is now solely focused on safety and steadfastly committed to saving lives by improving public safety outcomes. To partner with an organization that shares our passion for serving the public and is as dedicated to developing critical infrastructure globally, as we are, is truly an amazing opportunity.
There’s so much to be excited about and I wanted to share just some of what I’m looking forward to in 2023 and beyond.
Clearing Up Cloud Mysteries
The notion of moving systems to the cloud still brings apprehension for some in public safety. What complications might arise? What about cybersecurity? Reliability? Onsite integration to operational systems? Adan Pope, Intrado CTO, and I talked about cloud technology in a podcast and some blog posts (like this one and this one) last year. While digital transformation has been happening in the enterprise domain for several years now, cloud migration in public safety has been much slower. And we get it. When it comes to critical infrastructure that impacts, quite literally, the lives of the very citizens we serve, adoption and rollout of cloud technology can’t be taken lightly and our over 1,250+ professionals here at Intrado are on it.
The cloud – in Intrado’s case, a mix of public and private or “hybrid” approach – takes into account those very concerns while offering new opportunities to improve workflows, enhance flexibility and increase resiliency. But cloud adoption must be at a pace that works for each agency – meeting you where you’re at and adapting to your pace. In the transition, network architecture matters on how you connect to the cloud, for true success. Our commitment is to help ease the transition to cloud-based services in a way that’s meaningful, secure and successful.
Recent Advances and Emerging Public Safety Technologies
Last year we announced Power Access™ and Sonic G3 – two solutions for PSAPs that leverage the power of the cloud to deliver operational efficiencies for PSAPs. Power Access addresses challenges of NG911 i3 compliance and 5G/IoT-enabled communications by combining key services from Intrado’s 911 continuum, including a browser-based version of Power 911® – Power 911 Web – as well as GIS mapping combined with enhanced situational awareness through our Emergency Data broker platform and MIS reporting from our ECaTS business. Sonic G3 Edge Compute gives you the ability to handle 911 calls and texts using Power 911 with flexible options for connectivity and location status, meeting the challenges of remote workforces as well as leveraging 4G/5G redundancy and survivability in the event of any type of outage. Connecting without a secure, custom built for 9-1-1 secure end point like the Sonic G3 is not public safety grade, in my humble opinion.
While we’re speaking of cloud-based advances in public safety, we should also mention Spatial Insight, a free map-based interface that provides more accurate handset location information for wireless emergency calls using Apple’s Enhanced Emergency Data (EED). Its Hybridized Emergency Location technology makes precise, high-integrity location data available to 911 centers, resolving critical location data issues that impact nearly half of 911 calls with a technology-agnostic approach so that first responders can seamlessly access location coordinates without disrupting existing workflows. You’ll hear more about Spatial Insight this year with some exciting new innovations that span different product sets, integrating capabilities to deliver greater insights without stifling workflows.
Hands down the most exciting release of last year was Intrado Locate Before Route. It even was identified by Popular Science as one of the top innovations of 2022. This solution is transforming dispatchable location accuracy by narrowing the traditional cell tower-based location 10-mile radius to just 50 meters with the inclusion of device-based data – ensuring first responders can be dispatched to the right location faster. Released first with AT&T, Intrado Locate Before Route is technology that makes a valuable impact on not just carriers and device manufacturers, but can immediately be realized by everyday citizens who rely on emergency services. In 2023, Locate Before Route will continue to make an impact through expanding partnerships.
Our Emergency Data Broker platform will also play a big role in the future of public safety, and we’ve made great strides in building relationships to extend those advancements. PSAPs currently can opt-in to receive fire and police alarm data through our ADT partnership. And as Toyota demonstrated at APCO last year, telematics data delivered directly to PSAPs will enable telecommunicators to quickly locate and dispatch the appropriate resources for people in distress.
The coming months and years will see telecom carriers, telematics, device manufacturers, IoT providers and more, partnering with Intrado to get lifesaving data to PSAPs – swiftly and seamlessly. The saying “the future is now” is nowhere more evident than with recent stories touting amazing rescues in the Alaskan wilderness and a remote California canyon. We look forward to collaborations that enable connections for people and areas not serviced by Wi-Fi or LTE. We are also keen to support satellite providers to extend these advancements even further. Stay tuned for more to come about these very exciting advancements.
And one final thing I'd like to mention is our Safety Suite platform. Everyone can agree that safety within our schools is a huge priority. Last year, we launched the Wearable 911 Panic Button, part of our Safety Suite for Schools solution set. In addition to meeting Alyssa’s Law requirements, which are expanding from state to state, Safety Suite and the wearable panic button device gives K-12 schools and universities powerful tools that cover incident prevention, response, and recovery for complete risk management. The ability to tie into Intrado’s existing 911 footprint yields improved information sharing among schools and PSAPs, and in 2023 I’m looking forward to bringing these solutions to the Enterprise, especially for workplaces that have lone workers out in the field where mobile phones might not be an option to reach 911.
Bringing It All Together: The Safety Network of Things
We recently secured a patent for the Safety Network of Things which will serve as the foundation for our approach to public safety innovation. Beginning decades ago, with our standards-based emergency services network – which serves 3.1 million wireless sites, 2.5 billion telephone numbers, and 13,600 PSAP seats across the U.S. and Canada – and encompassing our deep portfolio of solutions that span the entire 911 continuum, our commitment expediting responses, enhancing situational awareness and improving public safety outcomes has only just begun.
One Team. One Mission.
I’ve talked a lot about technology but I’d be remiss to not acknowledge the incredible work of the many teams that support Intrado’s mission. “Work Worth Doing” is common sentiment throughout discussions across our company and I’m incredibly grateful for people who show up and make it happen every day.
One team I especially want to give a shout out to is our incredible staff at the Intrado Emergency Call Relay Center (ECRC). This phenomenal group of telecommunicators, located in our Longmont headquarters, is 911 for 911, handling all manner of requests that cannot be routed to a 911 center, for reasons including un-provisioned addresses, technical issues, or high demand situations.
Some RFAs are designed to route directly to the ECRC first, as with satellite phones and ACN or passenger-initiated telematics requests. These people are often stranded or lost and in need assistance as quickly as possible. The ECRC team uses Intrado-enabled resources to locate them, triage support, and engage the proper 911 jurisdiction. They can engage with agencies like national park dispatch centers, coast guard stations, and can even escalate to the State Department if needed. They also stay on the line with the individual until first responders arrive or, at minimum, until they can be connected with a local telecommunicator. Staffed entirely by APCO certified telecommunicators, it’s the only US-based facility of its type, operating 24x7x365 to connect people with the 911 professionals who serve them. I’m so proud of the work they do.
Here’s to Great Things to Come
At Intrado, our mission (once again!) is to save lives by improving safety outcomes. That mission has defined our purpose-built solutions so that we can bring enhancements to existing solutions like VIPER, Power 911 and Enterprise E911, as well as developing new solutions like the ones I mentioned above.
From concept and design, to testing, implementation, adoption and ongoing support, our teams are focused on working with you – our customers – to understand your challenges and meet the ever-evolving technology and safety landscape.
Here’s to a new day at Intrado and an exciting 2023. Cheers!
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