911 professionals across North America perform extraordinary work managing hundreds of millions of emergencies annually. Yet in these emergencies, limitations in public safety infrastructure often require callers to verbally explain what is occurring.
This challenge is particularly acute in life-threatening medical emergencies, when callers may have challenges coherently speaking and when health and other context can be critical in determining the appropriate response and follow-up care.
Partnering with Public Safety to Take on the Challenge
Over the past decade, thousands of first responder agencies helped build RapidSOS, an intelligent safety platform that links critical data from 500M+ devices to 16,000+ 911 and field responder agencies.
Today, RapidSOS is excited to share that we are expanding our support for Android ELS to allow emergency responders using RapidSOS to get critical medical info and emergency contact data sent directly from Android devices. Depending on what users share, this information may include caller name, allergies, medications, preexisting conditions, emergency contacts, and more.
How it Works
Android users with supported devices running Android 12 and above may choose to opt-in to share medical information and emergency contacts with first responders when they place a call or send an SMS to an official, supported emergency number – like 911. This feature became available from Google earlier this year. This feature is supported today in the Personal Safety app, available on Pixel and some other OEM devices – with more support coming soon. To enable the feature, Personal Safety users on supported devices can open the app and navigate to Your info > Emergency info access > Share during emergency call. Public safety’s help in encouraging users to add this information, opt-in to share it, and keep it up-to-date is appreciated.
When activated, if a user calls or sends an SMS to 911 in a region that supports this type of additional data, the users’ information may be shared directly with first responders and displayed in RapidSOS alongside other information about the call.
“This is when your smartphone becomes smart. This is when the information you put inside your phone becomes useful to 911. This information can be life-saving” said Tenea Reddick, ECC Director at Baltimore City Fire Department.
“This information is available to use before the dispatch, and before the responders arrive. It saves so much time because we already know what we’re responding to and what we need,” added Director Reddick.