Esri, GeoComm, and RapidSOS Partner to Improve First Responder Situational Awareness

by Hfbtech

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GIS data is mission critical for public safety agencies. It helps first responders situate themselves in emergencies, enabling them to see environmental features and hazards, and connect spatial patterns and relationships in real-time. 

Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, and GeoComm, the leading provider of public safety GIS systems, are partnering with RapidSOS to combine unprecedented data and mapping technology into an advanced view of an emergency situation.

Esri President Jack Dangermond announcing partnership with RapidSOS and GeoComm

At today’s Esri User Conference, President Jack Dangermond announced the partnership between Esri, GeoComm and RapidSOS which will allow first responders to access critical information on the RapidSOS platform, including:

  • Location information, updating in real-time as a caller moves
  • Additional emergency data, such as health profiles, medical information, and more 
  • Indoor mapping data for local buildings, schools, and campuses

Improving situational awareness for 911

Through this partnership, the RapidSOS platform will incorporate Esri’s ArcGIS and indoor mapping data from GeoComm. 911 telecommunicators will be able to view floor plans and building layouts, as well as additional information about the building, like capacity, emergency contacts, and hours of operation.

Note: This is a mock-up, the actual integration may look different.

This geospatial information, in addition to the life-saving medical and demographic data available through the RapidSOS emergency response data platform, grants first responders a holistic view of emergencies as they occur. Now, telecommunicators can view the location of a call from within a building on a map of the floorplan, while accessing additional medical and demographic information about the caller, on one screen. 

As Mike King, Esri’s Director of Emergency Communications Solutions describes it, “we are able to bring the most advanced understanding of an emergency possible to our emergency responders.”

In practice, this information can help speed up response times to a variety of emergencies by showing first responders where to go, how to get there, what environmental hazards may exist along the way, and more. In the context of a mass shooting or a structure fire, this information can be the difference between good and bad outcomes.

To learn more about the solution, or to sign up for updates on its arrival, visit Esri’s post on the partnership.

“This partnership between GeoComm, Esri, and RapidSOS will give our 911 professionals the most advanced view of an emergency possible, enabling first responders with knowledge of the incident’s location within a building, as well as critical data about the type of emergency occurring.”

Rodger Mann, 911 GIS Manager, North Central Texas Emergency Communications District

Life-saving data that can protect lives

Esri and GeoComm data will be available through RapidSOS later this year. In the meantime, agencies can start accessing a holistic situational awareness view of emergencies with Jurisdiction View, which plots calls within a 911 center’s jurisdiction on a satellite map. With Jurisdiction View, telecommunicators are able to click on a call on their map to access a suite of additional information available through RapidSOS’ partners, like Uber, MedicAlert, or ZeroEyes.

By using GIS data in Jurisdiction View, telecommunicators will have critical information available to help shorten interrogation time, time to dispatch, and ultimately time to arrival.

In order to use Jurisdiction View, PSAPs must upload their jurisdictional boundary files in the admin section of RapidSOS Portal. Any agency without a RapidSOS Portal account can claim their free account here.

What is a jurisdictional boundary fIle?

A jurisdictional boundary file is a composite GIS map file that indicates the precise boundaries of a PSAP’s legal boundaries. These files are combined with a basic boundary box that exceeds the actual boundaries by roughly 10 miles, to allow for maximum precision in call tracing. So in the event a call is in motion, or for a call on the border or just beyond, a PSAP can still respond as needed and access life-saving information.

With accurate jurisdictional boundary files, agencies are able to leverage life-saving data that will transform agency workflows, improve response times, and deliver better outcomes. To learn more about boundary files, check out our blog post.