Public safety awareness and the innovation of Next Gen 9-1-1 makes a difference for first responders and communities across North Central Texas
ARLINGTON, Texas, October 25, 2023 — The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) is on a mission to improve emergency response with a dedicated program on public safety education, highlighting advancements in Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) solutions. This includes the continued focus of the Learn 9-1-1 application and the increasing role of modern 9-1-1 communication channels, such as live video, 2-way text, smartwatch notifications, plus more. In honor of National First Responders’ Day, NCT9-1-1 and RapidDeploy, the leading cloud-native platform for public safety, are asking the public to remember essential guidelines when facing emergencies and contacting 9-1-1.
To support National First Responders Day, an annual celebration on October 28th, dedicated to recognizing the brave individuals, from dispatchers to telecommunicators to field responders, NCT9-1-1 and RapidDeploy have created vital tips when calling 9-1-1. Additionally, while launched in 2020, the Learn 9-1-1 application, a 9-1-1 simulator aimed at teaching citizens how to successfully call or text 9-1-1, is now re-emphasizing the need to educate the public on text capabilities.
“Our first responders are dedicated to delivering the most effective emergency response for our communities and we want to extend our gratitude to them on National First Responders Day by sharing tips that can transform and improve incident response,” said Christy Williams, Director, NCT9-1-1. “With the advancements in Next Generation 9-1-1, it is important that we continue to educate the public on the most up-to-date best practices when placing an emergency call to one of our 40 plus Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs).”
When it comes to contacting 9-1-1, here’s the following recommendations and guidance:
- Don’t Hang Up: Accidental 9-1-1 calls happen—whether it’s a pocket dial, a misdial, or a child playing with a phone. If you mistakenly dial 9-1-1, do not hang up immediately. Once a call is initiated, it must be answered by a dispatcher or telecommunicator at an ECC. Stay on the line, explain the accidental call, and answer their questions.
- Know Your Location: Knowing your exact location is crucial for a swift emergency response. Providing your location information saves time, reduces stress, and enables more effective and efficient response. In instances where you don’t know your location, NG9-1-1 Mapping solutions can help to pinpoint your whereabouts and get responders on the scene quickly.
- Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t: Texting to-and-from 9-1-1 is available in NCT9-1-1’s service area. While calling is the most efficient, there are multiple situations when texting can be a viable communication method. Real-time two-way texting is an effective way to provide your location, describe the nature of your emergency, communicate with members of the Deaf and Hard of hearing communities, for individuals that speak different languages, or find themselves in situations that are not safe to speak.
- Consider Other Forms of Communication: Telecommunicators can also initiate live video streaming between them and the caller. With RapidVideo, a video capability from NCT9-1-1’s NG9-1-1 partner RapidDeploy, citizens can show the telecommunicator exactly what they are seeing. This provides transformative situational awareness and critical intelligence into the emergency. Alternatively, smartwatches can automatically notify ECCs of an emergency, providing location and medical information, along with a voice channel for speaking with the caller. Don’t forget about accessing digital methods of communication in critical moments.
- For example, Northern Ellis Emergency Dispatch received a smartwatch fall detection call, which provided the ECC an open line to the man wearing the device. Additional information included his GPS coordinates and the caller’s medical history information, which was previously input by the patient into the smartwatch. Through the open line, the telecommunicator heard breathing, but the man was unresponsive to their questions. Thanks to modern communications technology like a smartwatch, combined with NG9-1-1 solutions from RapidDeploy, the telecommunicator pinpointed the patient’s location on the map inside the agency and see that the patient had preexisting health conditions. This helped them to dispatch the right emergency response teams in the most efficient amount of time.
- Remember Telecommunicators Are People Too: Always keep in mind that there’s a human being on the other end of the line. Show compassion and respect to the 9-1-1 heroes who answer your calls, as they work diligently to ensure your safety.
“The digital age has ushered in a new set of expectations for emergency response where precision, immediacy, and diversified communication channels are now expected, especially when lives are on the line. We are proud to partner with customers like NCT9-1-1 who have helped to transform emergency response with their transition to NG9-1-1,” said Steve Raucher, CEO and Co-founder. “National First Responders Day is the perfect moment to further educate the public on the advancements in 9-1-1, and provide guidance on best practices for placing emergency calls. If we each do our part, we can save more lives.”
About North Central Texas Emergency Communications District:
The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) was created pursuant to Chapter 772, Subchapter H, of the Texas Health and Safety Code. NCT9-1-1 is engaged in the planning, implementation, and maintenance of an emergency 9-1-1 system for more than 40 Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) in 13 counties surrounding the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. NCT9-1-1 serves a population of 1.7 million and covers 10,800+ square miles.
Founded in 2016, and based in Austin, TX, RapidDeploy is the leading cloud-native platform for public safety. We provide Telecommunicators, First Responders, and 911 agencies with Next Generation solutions that deliver intelligent information and drive better outcomes in mission-critical situations. With a curated partner network, our platform combines mobile signals, critical datasets, and call information into a single operating system, improving emergency response with location accuracy, situational awareness, unified communications, and on-demand insights. Our products improve outcomes and ultimately save lives. In 2023, RapidDeploy earned recognition for the 5th year in a row as a prominent company to watch on the GovTech 100 list, and as one of the best places to work by Built In. Learn more at www.rapiddeploy.com.