Sat. May 25th, 2024

TLDR:

  • Orange County, Florida has implemented new emergency communications technology that allows residents to make video calls to first responders.
  • The technology, developed by Carbyne, allows callers to not only describe their emergencies but also show them, helping responders to identify locations and assess the level of danger someone may face.

Orange County, Florida, has become the first area in Central Florida to implement a new form of emergency communications technology that allows residents to make video calls to first responders. This technology, developed by software company Carbyne, enables residents to not only describe their emergencies but also show them, helping responders to identify locations and assess the level of danger someone may face. The new technology has the potential to save lives in a new and innovative way.

Kimberly Stewart-Horan, Division Chief of Communications for Orange County Fire Rescue, said there are many scenarios in which the 911 video software may be useful. For example, if someone is lost, the video call could be an effective tool for first responders to locate them. Additionally, in hazmat situations, the caller could show first responders a visible placard indicating the type of chemical they may be dealing with.

In a live demonstration of the technology, a mock scenario was played out in which an Orange County resident became lost on a local park trail. The resident used the technology to show the police dispatcher landmarks indicating her location. Orange County Fire Rescue has already allocated $16,680 to plan and implement the video software.

Now, when Orange County residents call 911, dispatchers will ask them a series of questions to gather background information. The caller will then be sent a link via text message that gives them the option to begin a live stream. After a year of planning and testing the software’s capabilities, Orange County personnel recently put the new technology into use. Orange County emergency responders receive around 350-400 calls per day.

Kimberly Stewart-Horan emphasized the importance of innovation in emergency communications and stated, “As technology changes, so does the industry. Innovation is key, so we want to make sure that we’re able to offer all our citizens and visitors the best that we possibly can.”

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