NEW YORK, July 17, 2019 — 22-year-old Jeremy Schmeltzer of Prince William County, VA is alive today thanks to the Prince William County public safety communications responders and a partnership between Google and emergency technology company RapidSOS.
On April 6, 2019, Jeremy experienced an allergic reaction that led to a severe asthma attack. Unable to breathe, Jeremy’s speech was severely impacted and he was incapable of relaying his address to the 9-1-1 telecommunicator handling his call. Due to the heroic work of the 9-1-1 telecommunicator and first responders, as well as the technology partnership between Google and RapidSOS, Jeremy was located and saved with moments to spare.
The nation’s 9-1-1 system is more than 50-years-old and designed for landline telephones, leaving dispatch centers often unable to locate callers and access rich data from mobile phones. To address challenges with locating mobile 9-1-1 calls, Google and RapidSOS announced a partnership in September 2018 to deliver life-saving 9-1-1 caller location information to public safety agencies nationwide. The Prince William County Communications Center was an early adopter of the RapidSOS technology which is now in use in over 3,500 9-1-1 centers nationwide.
Google’s Android ELS (Emergency Location Service) is a supplemental service that sends enhanced location computed directly from Android phones to emergency services when a 9-1-1 call is placed. Android ELS is available on 99% of existing Android phones and does not require the user to install additional applications. This location data is delivered to 9-1-1 centers in the U.S. via the RapidSOS Clearinghouse, a secure source of emergency data that is offered as a free service to every public safety agency nationwide.
In this instance, while Jeremy was having a severe asthma attack and unable to relay accurate information to the 9-1-1 telecommunicator, the dispatcher was able to utilize Android ELS location data, available in the RapidSOS Clearinghouse, to pinpoint his location and dispatch help.
“Our Fire and Rescue System forced Jeremy’s door down based exclusively on the Android ELS location data available from Google and RapidSOS. This was especially notable considering that he was within a row of identical townhouses, which would require door to door searching if it was not for the new technology,” said Eddie Reyes, Director of Public Safety Communications at Prince William County. “Myself and all personnel working on this incident feel certain that if this technology had not been available, this situation would have resulted in a fatality.”
“It’s amazing to think that this technology was simply working behind the scenes when I called 9-1-1,” said Jeremy. “I have no words to describe how thankful I am to Jeanette ー the 9-1-1 telcommunicator who managed my call, the paramedics who handled my situation with speed and care, and Google and RapidSOS for working together on this technology.”
“9-1-1 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with limited data and resources,” said Michael Martin, CEO of RapidSOS. “I am grateful to all of the public safety professionals involved in this incident and to our partners at Google for working with us to help solve the 9-1-1 location challenge nationwide.”
“We are grateful for the heroic efforts of the Prince William County public safety communications responders that saved Jeremy’s life, and for our partnership with RapidSOS,” said Nandini Kappiah, Director of Engineering at Google. “We’re committed to bringing accurate and reliable location information to public safety agencies with Android ELS to help shorten emergency response times across the United States.”
Partnering with Internet of Things (IoT) companies and the public safety community, RapidSOS provides a rich data link to public safety via the RapidSOS Clearinghouse – sending life-saving data to aid in emergency response. RapidSOS implements best-in-class security practices including end-to-end encryption for data in the Clearinghouse and an information security management program developed with IBM that has achieved ISO 27001 compliance, a rigorous and globally-recognized cybersecurity certification. The RapidSOS Clearinghouse is a free service to public safety, and is integrated with all major vendors of 911 call-taking, dispatching and mapping software. Learn more about RapidSOS: www.rapidsos.com.
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