by Josh Pepper, VP of Product for Real Time Operations at Axon
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Pepper joined Axon in 2018 to create and lead the Dispatch product team, and is now VP of Product for Real Time Operations. Previously at Microsoft, Josh spent several years as an innovation consultant to Fortune 500 companies. He then spent several years leading product teams in web search and voice-based digital assistants. Josh went to undergraduate at Carleton College (the same alma mater as Michael Martin, the founder of RapidSOS), received a masters in computer science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.
Axon and RapidSOS recently announced a partnership to deliver real-time data to 911 telecommunicators & first responders and we wanted to take this opportunity to share my thoughts of this new relationship.
Years ago, when Axon was initially researching the public safety space, we toured agencies across the country with a goal of understanding how they operated as well as their challenges and what outcomes they ultimately were looking to achieve. We walked away realizing that there were an abundance of unaddressed challenges and the software that was used to manage their mission-critical operations were plagued with issues.
Knowing this, we chose to focus on three key areas that would drive the most significant impact for agencies: situational awareness, operational excellence and informed collaboration. With these as our north star, we got to work building a platform which would become an evolutionary step beyond current systems like CAD, or computer-aided dispatch. This was the beginning of Axon Respond, our real-time operations platform.
To start, we looked at what prevented agencies from unlocking these three areas of impact, which included:
- not knowing where units are and what their availability is
- placing the burden of providing updates on the very first responders who are most challenged to provide them
- the over reliance on radio and AVL alone to locate officers
- updates that are received only after situations have already changed, and many more.
Addressing the lack of sufficient situational awareness, from the inception of the call through to the incident resolution was foremost on our list to tackle. Throughout our discussions with agencies, we repeatedly heard how they loved a company called RapidSOS. The more we learned about this company, the more we admired it. They clearly identified a massive market need, solved for it in a remarkably short period of time and won the adoration of most Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs) across the country.
The idea of providing a true picture of the 9-1-1 caller was remarkable. RapidSOS has since enabled ECC teams to respond faster and more appropriately – which has been a common agency aspiration for as long as they have been in existence.
This partnership between Axon and RapidSOS is an exciting leap forward for public safety agencies. With it, dispatchers, supervisors and first responders will be empowered with comprehensive visibility spanning the initial call through to the resolution of the incident in the field. This will lead to faster responses, increased safety for everyone involved and the more effective use of limited resources.
Together with RapidSOS, agencies will be able to choose how they want to access this new situational awareness. They will soon be able to view it within the RapidSOS Platform, through Axon Respond for Devices live maps or even combine this visibility with dispatching capabilities within Axon Respond for Dispatch.
We are excited to partner with RapidSOS to make this a reality and look forward to sharing upcoming developments in the months and years ahead. Together we will leverage the power of technology to protect lives.
To learn more about the joint solution, see the full press release HERE.