The best part about my job at RapidSOS is that I get to visit a lot of different 9-1-1 centers across the country. I’ve seen everything from PSAPs with two positions that double as the reception for the county jail, to unified cross-discipline communications centers with hundreds of positions. Just like every 9-1-1 call is unique, every 9-1-1 PSAP is unique.
There’s only one theme that is consistent across all Communications Centers that I have visited: Outdated 9-1-1 infrastructure often leaves dispatchers with delayed, inaccurate, or unreliable location.
Apple devices provide us with the best possible location on our smartphones every day. We firmly believe that the best technology should be available to 9-1-1 when it matters the most.
Today, I am excited to share the news that RapidSOS and Apple are working together to send life-saving device location to 9-1-1 via the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse. Fast and accurate location for 9-1-1 calls at your fingertips – directly from the device.
How does it work?
When this feature is made available later this year in an iOS software update, Apple phones will send fast and accurate device location to the NG911 Clearinghouse when a user dials 9-1-1. This is part of the phone’s Operating System – users do not need to have an app installed on their phone for their location to be shared during a 9-1-1 call.
This is not a replacement to the Carrier location you already receive through the ALI – rather, it is a supplemental source of data to help dispatchers quickly and securely access caller location. 9-1-1 centers with the NG911 Clearinghouse integration will receive the Apple device location data, as well as the ALI location they are used to.
What is the NG911 Clearinghouse?
The NG911 Clearinghouse is a NENA i3 compliant Location Information Server (LIS) and Additional Data Repository (ADR) that integrates into most major 9-1-1 call-taking, dispatching and mapping systems. RapidSOS offers this service at no cost to public safety, and it can be accessed by any authorized 9-1-1 center in the United States. Public safety agencies across 35 states have already completed the integration and are receiving life-saving data from the NG911 Clearinghouse.
How can my PSAP start receiving data from Apple devices?
No two PSAPs are the same – for some, an integration can be done over-the-air and within a few hours, and for others it may include upgrading to a newer version of their call-taking or CAD software. We have a dedicated team of public safety professionals who work closely with 9-1-1 centers in their region to find the simplest way for each PSAP to access the Clearinghouse.
If you haven’t yet integrated with the Clearinghouse, please request a meeting with a member of our public safety team to get a customized recommendation that fits your specific emergency response workflow.
Fast, accurate location data from Apple devices is coming – let’s get you connected to RapidSOS today!
While your agency is working on full integration, you can access life-saving data from the NG911 Clearinghouse through RapidLite. RapidLite is a free, browser-based solution that you can start using today. Find out more about RapidLite here.