Every year, PSAPs field millions of requests for assistance from alarm companies. New technology is simplifying the process in ways that promise to help telecommunicators, first responders and communities. Whether you call it “data” or “information” or something else, we’re swimming in it. What most of us need is better data—the kind that makes life simpler, easier, more efficient and safer.
Take your average Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Most telecommunicators monitor multiple screens, and sometimes other interfaces, while performing a highly stressful job that requires skill, calm and attention. As the nation transitions to Next Generation 911 (NG911), the influx of data will eventually also include not just calls and text messages, but video, audio, telematics and information from other sources like smart sensors, wearable devices and alarms.
In fact, requests for assistance from alarm monitoring companies already make up a significant part of most PSAPs’ call volume. In 2017, an estimated 23 million notifications were sent from alarm companies to local PSAPs, out of about 250 million calls made to 911 that year.
But what if those millions of requests from alarm companies could be routed through a simple text interface that quickly delivered only the most essential, dispatchable information? There would be no need for the call-taker to ask the alarm company questions about location, the nature of the emergency, hazards or other information. “Right now, very few PSAPs are capable of receiving alarm data directly into their CAD [computer-aided dispatch],” says Alex Hamlin, Partner Program Manager at Intrado. “But that’s the ideal solution for PSAPs because it saves time and improves efficiency.”
New technology called 911 data messaging—delivered through a partnership with Intrado and ADT, a leading provider of security and smart-home solutions—has turned that ideal into a reality. “Once the need for emergency response is identified, the alarm company creates an emergency request for assistance, bundles and transmits relevant event details in a 911 data message and Intrado delivers the request to the PSAP’s text-to-911 queue for processing.” Hamlin explains. “The telecommunicator sees the ‘call’ come in by text and can see the location and other information. Most of the time, they’re able to just send it on to dispatch, which really saves time by eliminating the need for voice relay of information to process an ADT alarm incident.”
911 data messaging has a number of powerful benefits for call centers:
• Because the request for assistance flows directly into the text- to-911 interface, there’s no need for voice calls for certain types of incidents
• More detailed information helps ensure greater situational awareness for telecommunicators and first responders
• Less time spent on call-handling and dispatch
• Reduced chance for errors from manual entry of call information
Just as important is the ease of integration. 911 data messaging:
• Uses existing PSAP workflows for answering text-to-911 calls
• Works with any CPE vendor’s system
• Doesn’t require any updates or configurations
• Is available at no cost to any text-to-911-enabled PSAP
• Integrates with existing alarm data coming into the CAD
Text-enabled PSAPs simply need to opt in to receive the ADT data.
“Call volume to 911 continues to climb and PSAPs continue to struggle with staffing shortages,” says Jeff Robertson, president of Intrado’s Life & Safety division. “Because 911 data messaging is built into a PSAP’s existing workflow, there’s no need to open another interface or work in another system. This is what technology and data should be doing--making the telecommunicator’s job easier and more efficient and our first responders and communities safer.”
Ready to learn more?