Google to Deliver 9-1-1 Caller Location Data to U.S. PSAPs
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | Comments

RapidSOS partnered with Google to deliver 9-1-1 caller location information to public-safety agencies nationwide.

With the U.S. activation of Android Emergency Location Service (ELS), emergency communications centers using the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse will receive faster and more accurate caller location for 9-1-1 calls from Android devices, the company said.

Android ELS, a service supported on 99 percent of Android devices, transmits fast and accurate emergency location both indoors and outdoors to emergency services during a 9-1-1 call. The handset-based emergency location service can supplement existing location services. RapidSOS said the location information delivery is a free service to every public-safety agency nationwide.

"Emergency Location Service in Android has made a profound impact on emergency response in the 15 countries where it is live today," said RapidSOS CEO Michael Martin. "This partnership between Google and RapidSOS puts life-saving data directly into the hands of 9-1-1 telecommunicators in the United States via modern NG 9-1-1 (next-generation 9-1-1) mechanisms."

British Telecom, EE and HTC developed Advanced Mobile Location (AML), with the first version released in 2014. In 2016, Google released ELS, its own implementation of AML. The technologies are used extensively throughout Europe and New Zealand.

The NG911 Clearinghouse is integrated in more than 1,000 emergency communications centers nationwide, covering more than 100 million Americans. Agencies not yet connected can start receiving data from the NG911 Clearinghouse through one of two methods. RapidLite is a free, secure, web-based tool that allows authorized public-safety agencies to request an account. In addition, RapidSOS partners with major public-safety software companies to integrate data from the NG911 Clearinghouse in existing dashboards and workflows.

Google and RapidSOS conducted a pilot in January to deliver ELS location to emergency communications centers in the U.S.

The Google announcement follows a similar agreement with Apple earlier this year for iPhone calls to 9-1-1.

"I've been in 9-1-1 for over 20 years and for the longest time we had to wait for someone else to fix the wireless location challenge," said Bob Finney, 9-1-1 communications director at Collier County (Florida) Sheriff's Office. "With ELS and RapidSOS, we can actually take action in the emergency communications center to improve the safety of our citizens."

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