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Emergency Apps and Other Tools You Can Use to Help 9-1-1 Help You

Emergency Apps and Other Tools You Can Use to Help 9-1-1 Help You

9-1-1 is there to help during an emergency, but there are plenty of emergency apps, tools, and accessories that can help your local agency. Of course, the best way to reach 9-1-1 is still a voice call (followed by a text message if it’s available in your area), but using one of these resources can help 9-1-1 telecommunicators help you.

Emergency Health Profile

During the coronavirus pandemic, four non-profit organizations partnered with a 9-1-1 industry vendor to create the Emergency Health Profile Association. Signing up for an emergency health profile allows your information such as your name, address, pre-existing conditions, medications, emergency contacts, and more to be shared with a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP or call center) when you dial 9-1-1. The health information you provide is not Protected Health Information covered by HIPPA, but rather is subject to the profile’s privacy policy

This information is provided through the RapidSOS, which is not an emergency app but a company that supplies a database to store additional information for 9-1-1 telecommunicators and is free to use for participating agencies. However, not all PSAPs utilize RapidSOS, though they are found in 4,700 PSAPs in the United States. All of PSAPs within the NCT9-1-1 service area are equipped to access RapidSOS. If you are unsure whether your local agency can utilize this data, you can always call them on their 10-digit number.      

What3Words

What3Words is a free mobile application that you can download to help identify your location and the locations of relevant landmarks, either in an emergency or just in general. They’ve divided the world into parking-space size squares and assigned three words to each square. For example, The Alamo in San Antonio has been assigned Axed.Limbs.Hops. By sending those three words to a friend or to a 9-1-1 call taker, they can plug the information into the desktop application to identify your location. You can look up the three words for your home address here.

Of course, this information is only useful if a 9-1-1 call taker is able to look up what location coordinates with the three words. The emergency number industry is starting to integrate this application with its tools, and NCT9-1-1 will soon implement a mapping platform that uses What3Words.

iPhone Health App

iPhones offer an in-house Health App that can be used to document pre-existing conditions, medications, and other information on your medical ID profile. You can also choose to have your medical ID information displayed on the lockscreen, which includes your name, age, and emergency contacts.

PSAPs who opt in to receive the information from the emergency health app will be able to view it during a 911 call and it is also seen if the Apple Watch fall detection feature is activated. Again, this information is only available to some PSAPs, so it’s still important to relay your medical information to the call taker during an emergency when possible.

InvisaWear

The jewelry brand sells necklaces, bracelets, and keychains that include charms with hidden panic buttons. By pressing the back of the charm twice, an alert is sent via the InvisaWear app to five emergency contacts chosen by the wearer. These contacts receive a GPS location and S.O.S alert in a text message, and there is also an optional contact 9-1-1 feature. 

There are a lot of emergency accessory brands that claim to reach 9-1-1 if activated, but it’s difficult to prove if the claims are true. InvisaWear is another organization that has partnered with RapidSOS, meaning agencies that utilize the services provided by RapidSOS have access to InvisaWear alerts.    

A 9-1-1 telecommunicator will do whatever they can to identify your location and get help to you, but by downloading these emergency apps or utilizing one of the tools, you can get important information into the 9-1-1 agency faster.    

Press Release: Dublin Police Department No Longer Answering 9-1-1 Calls

Press Release: Dublin Police Department No Longer Answering 9-1-1 Calls

Dublin, TX, October 28, 2020 –  Today the Dublin Police Department closed its Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and will no longer answer 9-1-1 calls or dispatch responses. 9-1-1 calls made by citizens of Dublin will now be answered by the Erath County Sheriff’s Office located in Stephenville, Texas. 

The Dublin Police Department was a two position PSAP that received 1,124 9-1-1 calls over the past year. The Erath County Sheriff’s Office has four positions and received 21,000 calls. Dublin officers will still respond to calls made within their jurisdiction.

Both the Dublin Police Department and the Erath County Sheriff’s Office are located within the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) service area. NCT9-1-1 is committed to providing PSAPs with the best resources and tools to serve citizens with a particular focus on early adoption in the emergency number industry. This includes text-to-9-1-1 and supplemental location for wireless calls. This superior level of service will continue to be offered to the citizens of Dublin.     

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About the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1)

The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) is responsible for 40 plus Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in the 13 counties surrounding the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The district supports these PSAPs through maintaining and upgrading 9-1-1 equipment, providing up-to-date mapping information, training 9-1-1 telecommunicators, educating the public on the proper use of 9-1-1, and monitoring PSAP functionality and compliances. NCT9-1-1 serves a population of 1.7 million and 10,000+ square miles.the best

How To Stay Spooky Safe This Halloween

How To Stay Spooky Safe This Halloween

A lot of things have changed in 2020 and though we never thought we’d go into Halloween concerned about masks (at least, not the kind of masks we usually associate with Halloween!) and social distancing, we’ve found ourselves wondering how to stay safe this Halloween. Luckily, most of the precautionary measures we’re already taking can still keep our families, loved ones, and ourselves safe. We’ve highlighted some ways your family can adapt these precautions to stay spooky safe on October 31!

Stick with Outdoor Events

Haunted houses may be a Halloween staple for you, but experts advise that staying outdoors where you can maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and others is preferred. Unfortunately, most haunted houses don’t allow for this. But there are plenty of outdoor events to attend in North Texas that can help you stay safe this Halloween.  

Where: Canton, Texas

Cost: $18.95 online or $24.95 at the gate. There are deals for group packages and super passes that you can review here.

Nothing says fall like a corn maze. Explore Yesterland Farm’s 3-acre maze as well as their 30 other activities and attractions. Their Spooktacular Nights begin October 2nd – October 31 and that’s when things get spooky! They encourage social distancing, offer hand-washing and sanitizing stations, and ask that guests wear face masks when social distancing is not possible.

Where: Cleburne, Texas

Cost: $19.95 for a weekend pass, but look online for special rates.

Called the Biggest Backyard in Texas, Mainstay Farm Park in Cleburne offers over 40 outdoor attractions on its grounds including a seasonal pumpkin patch, hayride, and more! With acres of activities spread throughout the farm, Mainstay requests visitors practice social distancing and other precautionary measures to protect their staff and guests.  

Little girl at a pumpkin patch

Where: Midlothian, Texas

Cost: $10 per person, free for 2 and under or 55 and older, and $8 for veterans or first responders.

A $10 pass will get you a whole day of corn mazes, hay rides, pumpkin games, and more! The 10 acre park has a lot of fall festivities for every age group. The farm has adopted the “care+” mentality in response to COVID-19 and commits to providing hand sanitizing/washing stations, making sanitizing common areas a top priority, encouraging social distancing and mask wearing, and other precautions. 

Where: Dallas, Texas

Cost: $12.00 – $17.00

If you’ve never experienced Autumn at the Arboretum, this is your chance! Every year the Dallas Arboretum highlights the “art of the pumpkin” with a festive display of more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash. It’s a great photo opportunity for the Instagrammer in all of us! To avoid overcrowding, guests book a reservation for a four-hour time slot and masks are required for those aged five and up.    

Follow the Guidelines of Your Community

Communities have been affected by COVID-19 in different ways, so to stay safe this Halloween make sure you adapt to what works in your area. If you’re not sure what that means, you can visit Halloween 2020, which provides a map created by the Harvard Global Health Institute to help families identify what kinds of activities may be safe for their area based on COVID-19 risk levels. 

Keeping Following Standard Precautions 

We’ve all followed the recommendations from the CDC like washing our hands regularly, social distancing, and wearing a mask when distancing isn’t possible. By following these suggestions, you can keep your Halloween safe. You may have to make some changes to your usual traditions, like a costume parade around the neighborhood instead of trick or treating, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a spooky safe Halloween!   

Press Release: North Texas Sees Increase in Citizen Requests to Connect Cell Phone to Home Address After COVID-19

Press Release: North Texas Sees Increase in Citizen Requests to Connect Cell Phone to Home Address After COVID-19

Arlington, TX, October 8, 2020 — The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) has seen an increase in citizen requests to connect their home address to their cell phone number after the coronavirus pandemic forced households indoors. 9-1-1 technology does not allow for this solution and it would put callers at risk by preventing life-saving care from arriving in time.

When dialing 9-1-1 from any location using a cell phone, telecommunicators receive the caller’s approximate location. Traditional location information is provided by the cell phone company while supplemental location information is supplied from data from a cell phone.

If a 9-1-1 call was made by a cell phone number associated with a private residence address, responders would be directed to that residence. Even if the call was made elsewhere, which would slow the response and create life-threatening risk if the responders arrived in the wrong location.

North Texas citizens concerned about telecommunicators identifying their residence’s accurate location during an emergency can utilize a landline to make the 9-1-1 call. Landlines are associated with a specific private residence address that are stored in a database for that service area.

NCT9-1-1 is an early adopter in the emergency number industry and has implemented innovative technology such as supplemental location accuracy, What3Words, and cloud-based mapping solutions to assist in accurately identifying 9-1-1 calls. The district will continue to bring 9-1-1 telecommunicators the best tools available to provide life-saving care to its service area. Citizens can contact the district here.

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About the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1)

The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) is responsible for 40 plus Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in the 13 counties surrounding the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The district supports these PSAPs through maintaining and upgrading 9-1-1 equipment, providing up-to-date mapping information, training 9-1-1 telecommunicators, educating the public on the proper use of 9-1-1, and monitoring PSAP functionality and compliances. NCT9-1-1 serves a population of 1.7 million and 10,000+ square miles.