NENA 2023: Takeaways for tech companies from public safety’s biggest event

by Thomas Prewett

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The RapidSOS team had an incredible time at the NENA 2023 Conference in Grapevine, Texas! Each year, NENA provides us with the amazing opportunity to reconnect with the public safety community to share thoughts and insights on how technology is transforming the industry to help save lives.

For those that were unable to attend, we’ve included a short recap of some of the event’s key takeaways below:

1. 911 is continuing to evolve from purely voice based to a data-centric ecosystem – Nationwide, Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs) are continuing to experience a blend of inbound emergency notifications, beyond phone calls, from IoT devices. As the balance of digital alerts and phone calls continues to evolve, 911 call centers are increasingly having to adapt to accommodate this new flood of data and information.

2. Enriched, digital data helps 911 save lives – Throughout several sessions, the significance of location and enriched data from connected devices was consistently emphasized as a powerful asset for reducing response times. This data plays a crucial role in equipping first responders with the necessary situational awareness even before they reach the site of an emergency.

3. It matters how the data is connected– It was repeatedly stressed, however, that how data is connected to ECCs and 911 is equally important. How 911 views the value of a product’s connected data is based on how well it is incorporated into how they work.
To ensure that connected data becomes actionable for telecommunicators, it is crucial for the information to be seamlessly integrated into existing systems. It should be supplied in a manner that enhances the existing workflows of the 911 system, rather than adding additional processes to their workload.

4. Reducing dispatch times during school emergencies remains a core focus – During the session “The Critical Role of 9-1-1 in Accelerating Response to School Incidents,” panelists including Ed Parkinson, President of Public Safety at RapidSOS, discussed the communication gap between schools, law enforcement, and ECCs and what can be done to expedite response times during on-campus emergences. The discussion placed special emphasis on fostering an optimal relationship between technology companies responsible for school safety and 911 call centers. The focus was on establishing efficient methods of connecting data that can provide support during on-campus emergencies, facilitate coordination for testing and drills, and more.

5. AI is having a transformational impact on public safety – Throughout the event, the capability of AI was highlighted as an exciting new frontier for public safety. Through AI-enabled incident detection and verification, RapidSOS powered technology companies like ZeroEyes proactively identify emergencies and notify first responders before an incident even takes place. AI is also being leveraged to help proactively identify large scale emergencies as quickly as possible and help reduce dispatch times. Looking forward, AI has been discussed as a tool for identifying spikes in 911 call volume and translating that data into predictive modeling for more efficient emergency response.

(+1). Public safety knows how to party! – Our team had a phenomenal time reconnecting with public safety for some southern style fun at the RapidSOS Community Party! We had a great time racing armadillos and dancing into the night! Looking forward to NENA 2024 in Orlando, Florida!

Interested in learning more about the latest capabilities when connecting your product to emergency services and first responders? Contact us today.