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Bringing Life-Saving Location from Apple Devices to Your Communications Center

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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There’s only one theme that is consistent across all Communications Centers that I have visited: Outdated 9-1-1 infrastructure often leaves dispatchers with delayed, inaccurate, or unreliable location.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.

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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 Clearinghouse. Fast and accurate location for 9-1-1 calls at your fingertips – directly from the device.

How does it work?

With the public release of iOS 12, Apple phones are now sending fast and accurate device location to the RapidSOS 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 RapidSOS Clearinghouse integration will receive the Apple device location data, as well as the ALI location they are used to.

What is the RapidSOS Clearinghouse?

The RapidSOS 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. Over 1,000 public safety agencies covering over 100 million Americans have already completed the integration and are receiving life-saving data from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse.

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