Oregon’s 9-1-1 Program is First in Nation to Securely Deliver Lifesaving Location Information into Statewide Network

by Hfbtech

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SALEM, Ore. — June 21, 2021 — Oregon’s 9-1-1 Program and RapidSOS, an emergency response data platform, announced today a partnership to deliver lifesaving enhanced location data to each of the state’s 43 9-1-1 centers. Oregon is the first in the nation to securely deploy RapidSOS into an existing, secure statewide foundational Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet), powered by Lumen. 

“The existing 9-1-1 system used to locate cell phone calls is over 20 years old, designed long before smart phones or GPS,” explained Oregon State 9-1-1 Program Manager Frank Kuchta. “When a person calls 9-1-1 from a cell phone, the dispatcher can’t see the caller’s exact location; instead, they have to rely on the caller’s wireless carrier for the information. This data comes from a cell tower that could put the caller miles away from where they physically are depending on several variables, including proximity to the cell tower, topography and the connecting technology.”

The RapidSOS Platform securely delivers real-time data from smartphones and sensors to 9-1-1 centers, helping 9-1-1 personnel quickly verify emergencies and providing critical location and additional data to effectively dispatch first responders.

Oregon’s foundational ESInet provides secure transport of 9-1-1 location data and other services for delivery across the state. The flexible network enables Oregon 9-1-1 centers to increase situational awareness by integrating innovative platforms such as RapidSOS.

“Of the 2 million 9-1-1 emergency calls received across the state each year, 80% are made using a wireless device,” said Kuchta. “RapidSOS provides an extra level of value by increasing location accuracy so Oregonians can be better located in an emergency when time matters most.”

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), more than 10,000 lives could annually be saved nationwide if 9-1-1 could locate wireless callers faster, allowing first responders to assist callers sooner.

Oregon’s 9-1-1 Program, Lumen and RapidSOS implemented the solution in early May 2021, and the state’s 9-1-1 centers currently using RapidSOS have already noticed improved location accuracy resulting in more timely response in real-world scenarios. They are also seeing a cost benefit; the data allows 9-1-1 centers to eliminate added expenses associated with purchasing costly and redundant distributed networks, security devices, end-user licenses and the ongoing maintenance costs associated with acquiring supplemental caller location information.

Jessica Reed, Vice President of Strategy and Global Partners at RapidSOS, added, “We’re united in our commitment to empower safer, stronger communities with intelligent, data-driven emergency response worldwide. Together with the state of Oregon, we’re providing people with an added layer of safety and security and supporting our heroic first responders in saving millions of lives annually.”

Lifesaving emergency data available via the RapidSOS Platform is securely transmitted over Oregon’s foundational ESInet utilizing Transport Layer Security (TLS), a fundamental security function that encrypts the data and employs a trusted certificate exchange. 

About Oregon 9-1-1 Program
Established in 1981 by the Oregon Legislature, the State 9-1-1 Program provides immediate access from all telephones to critical public and private safety services within Oregon. The state is home to 43 9-1-1 centers that cover its 36 counties. The State 9-1-1 Program is part of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management; learn more at Oregon.gov/oem/911.

About RapidSOS
In partnership with public safety, RapidSOS has created the world’s first emergency response data platform that securely links life-saving data from over 400M connected devices directly to emergency services and first responders. Through its platform, RapidSOS provides intelligent data that supports over 5,200 Emergency Communications Centers worldwide, across 150 million emergency calls annually. Together with our RapidSOS Ready emergency community, RapidSOS is supporting first responders in saving millions of lives annually. To learn more about our technology that’s creating life-saving connections, visit www.rapidsos.com.

About Lumen
Lumen is guided by our belief that humanity is at its best when technology advances the way we live and work. With approximately 450,000 route fiber miles and serving customers in more than 60 countries, we deliver the fastest, most secure platform for applications and data to help businesses, government and communities deliver amazing experiences. Learn more about the Lumen network, edge cloud, security, communication and collaboration solutions and our purpose to further human progress through technology at news.lumen.com/home, LinkedIn: /lumentechnologies, Twitter: @lumentechco, Facebook: /lumentechnologies, Instagram: @lumentechnologies and YouTube: /lumentechnologies. Learn more about Lumen public sector capabilities on Twitter at @lumengov and on LinkedIn at @lumenpublicsector.

Chris Crabb
PIO, Oregon Office of Emergency Management

Ted Miller
Ted Miller Group for RapidSOS

Danielle Spears