Michigan Telecommunicators Use Smart911Chat to Initiate Two-Way SMS/Text Sessions with Citizens Involved in Emergency Situations Where They Cannot Speak
FRAMINGHAM, Mass., June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Rave Mobile Safety, the trusted creator of innovative public safety data and communication software, today announced that 9-1-1 telecommunicators across the state of Michigan are regularly using Smart911Chat to text with callers who are in immediate danger and unable to speak on the phone. This ability is proving critical in helping rescue victims of domestic assault, home invasions, individuals in poor cellular coverage areas, people held against their will and those with hearing disabilities.
While Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) work to enable Text-to-911, according to the F.C.C., only nine percent of the more than 6,500 call centers in the U.S. are currently capable of receiving text messages. Even in areas where texting services are available, the F.C.C. encourages citizens still to voice call 9-1-1 during an emergency. However, it is widely acknowledged by public safety officials that many emergency situations may prevent the caller from speaking even after a voice call begins, such as during a domestic abuse incident or a home invasion. During these situations, being able to communicate with the caller via text message may enable a better outcome.
“We’ve seen savings of tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary dispatch costs for law enforcement agencies, just from being able to communicate with callers with whom we could not otherwise contact,” said Tim Smith, executive director of the Ottawa County Central Dispatch Authority. “That’s on top of the priceless value of the violent domestic situations Smart911Chat has helped avert and disrupt.”
Public safety agencies using Smart911 are able to utilize Smart911Chat, a feature that allows their call centers to initiate and interact with 9-1-1 callers via SMS/text message. Telecommunicators in Michigan are leading the charge in leveraging this technology to rescue callers who may not be in a safe position to speak, most notably ones involved in domestic abuse/assault situations, home invasions and kidnappings. Some recent examples of Smart911Chat helping 9-1-1 to better respond to citizens include:
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