2020 in Review: Supporting 911 in a Year When We Needed Them More Than Ever

by Hfbtech

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2020 has been an unquestionably challenging year, especially for first responders around the world. Though we’re looking forward to starting fresh in 2021, it’s equally as important to look back and reflect on a year that’s bound for the history books. 

Thanks to the efforts of the RapidSOS team and our partner community we’ve hit some huge milestones:

  • Over 5,200 Emergency Communications Centers with access to the RapidSOS emergency response data platform
  • Over 90 percent of the U.S. population covered by Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs) with RapidSOS
  • 350 million devices connected to the RapidSOS Platform
  • $21 million raised to empower faster, more efficient emergency response
  • Almost doubled our team in size

All of these milestones are in pursuit of a single goal: to build safer communities for all through data-driven emergency response. However, we couldn’t have hit these milestones alone: we feel fortunate to have met this moment in collaboration with our heroic first responders and RapidSOS Ready partners.

Our core values

When COVID was at its peak,  wildfires raged across the west coast, and hurricanes ravaged the southeast, public safety professionals stepped up to protect our communities. Every day, these unsung heroes showed up to keep us safe.

This year we’ve spent countless hours listening to and collaborating with some of the most passionate minds in emergency response to continue to evolve the RapidSOS Platform to best support our first responders.

We’ve attempted to hold ourselves to the same high standards they do – we ensure all our decisions map back to our four key values: pioneering, purpose over pride, trust and safety, and urgency. By living these values, we’re able to build and maintain our network of partners in public safety, technology, and policy.

Pioneering: The emergency response data platform

This year, RapidSOS officially launched the world’s first emergency response data platform that securely links life-saving data from over 350 million connected devices directly to 911 and first responders in an emergency. Through the RapidSOS Platform, we’re providing intelligent data that supports over 5,200 Emergency Communications Centers, protecting 90%+ of people in the US, across 250 million emergencies annually.  

Purpose over pride: RapidSOS Ready

 

Coinciding with the launch of the RapidSOS Platform, we worked with top technology companies to build the RapidSOS Ready partner community, signifying our partners’ commitment to empowering safer families and communities in partnership with public safety. 

RapidSOS Ready partners pass critical data through the emergency response data platform – saving lives with health information, real-time connected building data, indoor maps, multimedia feeds, and other data that drives the fastest, most effective response possible in emergencies. 

Together, we’re working to build a public safety system that works for all people, powered by data-driven emergency response.

Trust and safety: International expansion

As our platform and partner community grows, so do our borders. In 2020, we started laying the foundations for international expansion, in pursuit of our mission to transform emergency response worldwide.

We officially launched RapidSOS technology in 23 states in Mexico, and we partnered with Google to provide Android ELS location to Mexican first responders: ELS location is now available for free to all official emergency communications centers in Mexico through the RapidSOS emergency response data platform. To further support Latin American first responders, we held a webinar with Nuevo Leon C5 Directors on how to improve efficiency in emergency response and joined our ECC and RapidSOS Ready partners on countless forums in the country. 

We also crossed the pond to Europe and announced a partnership with MedicAlert UK to integrate their members’ medical data into the NHS’ 999 system. This partnership is the first of many to come that will support UK citizens, as we branch out deeper into Europe.

Urgency: Emergency health profiles

As the crisis onset by the first wave of COVID worsened, we knew we were uniquely positioned to help. Partnering with the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and Direct Relief, we launched the Emergency Health Profile Association to offer families, communities, and first responders a way to protect themselves during the pandemic. 

“When I heard the RapidSOS story about how it’s using technology to impact our healthcare system…[I knew] that it was going to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people by taking fragmented parts of our healthcare system and creating a more integrated approach.”

-David Shulkin, Former Secretary of the VA

The profiles allow people to share critical information about themselves that could be life-saving during an emergency. This information includesCOVID-19 symptoms, allergies, medications, and more, that first responders can access when the phone number tied to the profile calls 911.  These health profiles allow telecommunicators to access critical and potentially life-saving information about a caller, enabling them to respond faster and provide better emergency care. 

Looking ahead to 2021

As we prepare for another year supporting first responders in their life-saving work, we’re excited to see how technology and people will come together to change the world. We’re predicting stronger collaboration, deeper integrations, and improved intelligence for our emergency response system, and expect to see these trends galvanize through the next year.

At RapidSOS, our plan is to continue to build our RapidSOS Ready partner community of companies, Emergency Communication Centers, and public safety software providers and strive towards our mission of creating safer communities for all.

To find out how you can become RapidSOS Ready, talk to an expert today.