Working with APCO to Build the Future of Public Safety Technology

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Collaborating with the public safety community has always been a core tenet of RapidSOS’s mission to provide 9-1-1 centers with the best possible technology to save lives.

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We were pleased to host senior staff from the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) in our New York headquarters to talk about ways to work together on a shared vision for NG911. We have aligned the development of the RapidSOS Clearinghouse with two key APCO initiatives: seamless interoperability and cybersecurity. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the APCO team on efforts to provide NG911 technology that is interoperable, secure, and future-proof. 

The RapidSOS platform will be on display at booth #1741 at the APCO National Conference in Las Vegas, where our Public Safety Team will be providing demos of the platform for PSAPs. 

The RapidSOS Clearinghouse: A Source of Supplemental Data Your PSAP Can Trust

The RapidSOS Clearinghouse is a trusted source of life-saving data for PSAPs nationwide. Any public safety agency can access the Clearinghouse to receive supplemental data from a variety of sources including caller location from Apple iOS12 devices, additional caller data from Uber users, and crowdsourced incident data from Waze.

We designed the RapidSOS Clearinghouse to integrate with existing public safety systems and workflows. Through partnerships with numerous public safety companies, data from the Clearinghouse appears seamlessly in existing call-taking, mapping, computer-aided dispatch (CAD), and public safety applications. This supplemental approach does not compete or interfere with other sources of public safety data, such as FCC-regulated location information from wireless carriers. RapidSOS has committed to providing supplemental data to public safety at no cost by partnering with connected device companies. Agencies that are waiting to upgrade software to a supported version can get access to supplemental data today with our secure, web-based tool, RapidSOS Portal.

You can read frequently asked questions on the Clearinghouse here.

The Importance of Seamless Interoperability

APCO has drawn attention to an important challenge for public safety technology: PSAPs should be able to receive calls and additional data from 9-1-1 callers and share that data with other PSAPs and responders in the field, all without the need for costly custom integrations or specialized interfaces. This interoperability should remain consistent independent of jurisdictional boundaries and call handling or CAD software vendors.

RapidSOS supports interoperability by working with all major vendors of call-taking, mapping, dispatching, and additional data software. There is no need for custom integrations for each new service or app that interconnects with 9-1-1 – the RapidSOS Clearinghouse is natively integrated with existing systems, creating a trusted source of data from all connected devices and applications. RapidSOS has also outlined plans for integrations with FirstNet applications to enable end-to-end interoperability from citizens to PSAPs and on to first responders.  

Security Is Our Priority

We understand the importance of security for emergency technology. APCO has been a thought leader in educating Public Safety about the increasing importance of cybersecurity in a Next Generation 9-1-1 environment. The technology team at RapidSOS, led by our Chief Technology Officer Nick Horelik, has extensive experience in architecting and implementing mission-critical technology systems. This year RapidSOS achieved ISO 27001 compliance, one of the software industry’s most stringent security certifications. We are also engaging with APCO on industry best practices for cybersecurity education, threat analysis, and mitigation strategies.

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Meet Our Team at the APCO National Conference

We are excited to work alongside APCO towards our shared vision of seamlessly interoperable NG911 technology. In addition to satisfying prerequisites like support for multimedia communications, security, interoperability, IP infrastructure, and end-to-end integration, RapidSOS is also committed to future-proofing technology when possible by anticipating new technologies and preparing for forward compatibility.

We look forward to collaborating with APCO on proliferating this vision and contributing to industry standards development. We will be presenting live demos of the RapidSOS Clearinghouse at the APCO National Conference in Las Vegas, booth #1741.

We’re hosting a series of sessions with public safety leaders on how PSAPs are using the RapidSOS Clearinghouse today. 

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You can also attend one of the conference sessions featuring speakers from the RapidSOS team: 

Finding a New Route with Wireless Caller Geo-location

Reinhard Ekl, VP of Product and Public Safety, RapidSOS

John Brosowsky, Vice President of Innovation, GeoComm

Monday, August 6th at 3:15 PM

9-1-1 calls from wireless phones get delivered to PSAPs based on the association with the Cell Site Sector and verified using Traffic Plans. This can be a challenge for 9-1-1, especially for 9-1-1 where the paths and systems have been in place for nearly 50 years. However, because 80% of all 9-1-1 calls nationally are now coming from wireless phones – 9-1-1 must look at ways that proper selection of a PSAP by a location can occur. This session will discuss how these wireless calls can be routed more accurately using modern smartphone location services on an NG9-1-1 network by leveraging data from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse and the GIS-based Emergency Call Routing Function (ECRF).

Your PSAP’s Trusted Data Source: RapidSOS Clearinghouse Overview

Tracy Eldridge, Public Safety Community Engagement Manager, RapidSOS

Tuesday, August 7th at 3:00 PM

Tracy Eldridge from the RapidSOS Public Safety team will present on the RapidSOS Clearinghouse, your PSAP’s trusted source of device location and additional data. This session will explain how PSAPs can receive fast and accurate device location from Apple devices (and other sources like Uber & Waze). The speaker will also present results of RapidSOS Clearinghouse pilot projects where real emergencies were positively impacted by Clearinghouse data.

Location Accuracy and Public Safety

As wireless carriers implement FCC rules aimed at improving 9-1-1 location accuracy including indoors, the opportunity to leverage newer technologies grows. This panel session features experts from different organizations discussing this critical topic for the public safety industry.

Wednesday, August 8th at 9:00 AM

If you’re interested in meeting our team and learning how your public safety agency can benefit from the Clearinghouse, you can schedule a meeting with us at the conference today.