911 and Siren GPS
One of the major problems with so many people using smartphones these days is that they’ve made the lives of 911 dispatchers extremely difficult. Imagine you’re in an emergency and call police from a cell phone, but don’t know exactly where you are. That signal will ping the nearest cell tower to try and pinpoint your location. The issue is, that tower could very well be up to two miles away from where you are, causing major delays in response times.
With 80% of all 911 emergency calls coming from cell phones, that could mean the difference between life and death. Luckily, there’s a new app that’s changing all that. It’s called SirenGPS. It works much like Google Maps or Uber, where it’s able to pinpoint your exact location within about 20 feet. It is important to note that this is not a replacement for traditional 911 calling – simply an enhanced option, or additional method, to contact 911 in an emergency from your mobile phone.
How to get the app:
- Download SirenGPS through your mobile app store (Apple or Android). The app is free.
- Create an account.
- Select NETCOM 9-1-1 which allows you to make 9-1-1 phone calls from the SirenGPS app.
- If desired, fill out medical information for emergency responders, such as major health issues, medications, allergies, and a photo so responders can quickly recognize the person needing medical attention.
- Also, you may wish to fill out "next of kin" notifications as well – to assist emergency responders if you are unable to communicate
Westlake, Southlake, and Colleyville are working closely with the Keller Police Department to provide residents with this life-saving technology. The service can also be used by anyone who works or travels through these communities as well. It’s the first time in the U.S. that an emergency dispatch center has launched the app. Westlake is proud to partner with Keller PD in this new technology.
The way it works is simple: With one touch of the app, the dispatcher knows who you are, which emergency service is needed, whether it’s fire, ambulance, or police, and your exact location where the call was made.
You can even program the app to let dispatchers know if you have a medical condition or allergies. That’s helpful since many people needing assistance are often in distress and unable to provide crucial information to the dispatcher.
This emergency communication is a function of the Northeast Tarrant Communications Center or “NETCOM”. The consolidation of dispatch resources benefits the four communities by reducing costs and redundancy. Most importantly, it enhances the response times, as agencies across borders in response to emergency calls. This regional 911 center was the first of its kind in Tarrant County.
“The beauty of this product is that it will run parallel to our traditional 911 capabilities and improve our speed, accuracy, and efficiency. It is going to revolutionize our ability to take care of our residents”, says regional dispatch manager Warren Dudley.
Emergency experts recommend you put the app front and center on your mobile device so you can easily access it in a case of emergency. For more information about NETCOM's SirenGPS mobile app, please visit the related Keller Police web page.