About the Author
Leah Wansley – Chief Brand Pilot – FIRST iZ
Leah Wansley joined FIRST iZ in July 2019 as Chief Brand Pilot. Bringing over 20 years of marketing and advertising strategy experience, Leah Wansley is responsible for the company’s branding, marketing, and public relations efforts.
FIRST iZ® is an autonomous drone solution that provides fast access to critical scene details for optimized emergency response. It leverages drone technology to enhance the ability of emergency response teams to see what they are facing, long before they even arrive on scene. Having “first eyes on scene” enables first responders to inspect and plan for an incident and be prepared to handle the situation seamlessly. This makes for better informed and equipped first responders which results in safer communities.
The FIRST iZ solution was born out of Genesis PULSE®, a cloud-based Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Enhancement Software Solution integrated with RapidSOS. PULSE pulls incident information from sources like CAD and RapidSOS to leverage very early knowledge of incidents such as fires, vehicle crashes, shootings, and missing persons and translates that into a FIRST iZ autonomous mission.
During an emergency, it is crucial to have the right resources in place as soon as possible, especially when every second counts and minutes can mean life or death. A 911 caller may not be able to accurately describe or comprehend the severity of a situation. This poses a challenge to Emergency Communications Centers in determining the most appropriate responders and equipment to dispatch.
Public Safety responses without clear knowledge of the scenario can be dangerous, for emergency responders and the people they serve. Current public safety drone programs try to address this, but oftentimes first responders double as pilots, meaning the drone cannot be deployed until after responders have arrived on scene and are set up to fly. At that point, the information received is in parallel to a response instead of ahead time when it could have made the most impact for all.
Through this partnership between RapidSOS and FIRST iZ, first responders can get eyes on the scene and actionable data before they arrive. With just the click of a button in the RapidSOS Portal, a drone can be automatically dispatched to the site of any alarms and incidents displayed in the Portal. The drone is programmed to file a flight plan, launch from FIRST Port™, a rugged-weather protected “smart” enclosure, fly to the incident location, stream live videos, and sniff for hazardous gases. Live video and actionable data from the drone is streamed back to the Emergency Communications Centers, as well as to emergency responders. When the mission is complete, the drone returns to the FIRST Port, lands, charges, and is ready for continued service, all without any human intervention.
Making the revolutionary FIRST iZ solution accessible to the thousands of RapidSOS equipped Emergency Communications Centers worldwide is a game-changer for public safety. It allows them to enhance their current dispatch system’s inherent capabilities without requiring a large infrastructure upgrade or technology overhaul. The battle for screen real-estate in emergency communications centers is fierce. This opportunity to integrate the FIRST iZ solution directly into the RapidSOS Portal and make it accessible to tens of thousands of 911 telecommunicators around the clock, without the need to sacrifice valuable screen real-estate is a win across the board. With the power of FIRST iZ and PULSE in partnership with RapidSOS, we are helping to reduce response times and save lives.
RapidSOS, FIRST iZ, and Genesis PULSE are all companies built on the premise of putting first responders first and empowering faster and smarter emergency responses in our communities. After completing years of work and thousands of flights, we look forward to the day that the FIRST iZ solution is readily accessible to every Emergency Communications Center in the country. Becoming RapidSOS Ready is a giant step towards this goal.
Interested to learn more about the RapidSOS Partner Network? Read our full press release here.