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DC Office of Unified Communications and RapidSOS Roll Out New Lifesaving 911 Technology Deployed Across the District

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

(Washington, DC) The Washington, DC Office of United Communications (OUC) recently joined with RapidSOS to showcase the new, lifesaving technology deployed across the District making it possible to pinpoint callers from mobile phones.

The inability to locate 911 callers who dial in from mobile phones has long been a problematic issue across the country for the nation’s 911 telecommunicators. The country’s 911 infrastructure is 50 years old, was built for landline phones and simply does not have the ability to locate callers from cell phones, which now make up nearly 80 percent of all calls to 911.

RapidSOS has developed technology that allows 911 centers to finally utilize the data from mobile phones to accurately locate callers during emergencies, saving precious time in an emergency. RapidSOS has partnered with Apple and Google to enable emergency location for phones with iOS 12 and Android version 4.0 and higher.

The event took place just ahead of the annual NENA “911 Goes to Washington” Conference where thousands of 911 professionals, technology companies, first responders and dispatchers discuss issues of importance to the 911 community.

“More than eighty percent of our calls coming in are wireless calls right now,” said DC OUC Director Karima Holmes. “Between visitors, children, and the elderly – many of whom are unaware of their location - this is a tremendous tool to have. It saves precious seconds and allows us to get help to the caller as quickly as possible.”

“America's 911 telecommunicators do heroic work managing over 240 million emergencies annually through outdated infrastructure that allows little more than a voice connection,” said Michael Martin, CEO of RapidSOS. “We spent the past five years partnering with public safety to transform that voice-only system into a rich data platform. I'm excited to continue our mission of providing life-saving data for every emergency globally.”