Waukesha County Office of Emergency Preparedness: Software upgrade allows Waukesh County dispatchers to pinpoint exact location of 911 calls from smartphones

Contact: Nicole Armendariz

Phone: 262-548-7902

  (WAUKESHA, WI) – The Waukesha County Communications Center is one of the first 911 dispatch centers in the nation to utilize precision location technology for 911 smartphone calls. The WCC is utilizing tech startup RapidSOS’ Next Generation 911 (NG911) Clearinghouse, an IP-based system, to receive rich data from smartphones. That data includes real-time location information that can quickly and securely pinpoint a call’s latitude and longitude from most devices to a radius between 5 and 50 m, a significant improvement over current utility-provided data that requires additional time in providing locations ranging between 6 and 600 m.

“This new technology will save lives,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “Most 911 calls come from mobile devices, which creates a challenge for first responders trying to find people in need. The ability to quickly and accurately pinpoint the location of 911 calls is vital during emergency situations, especially if a caller is unable to speak or gets disconnected.”

The Waukesha County Communications Center has been beta testing the RapidSOS NG911Clearinghouse system for 5 months. Last week’s launch of Apple’s iOS 12 software update and Android’s Emergency Locations Services (ELS) allows emergency responders to access precise location data from smartphones.

About The RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse System

The NG911 Clearinghouse is a National Emergency Number Association (NENA) i3 compliant Location Information Server (LIS) and Additional Data Repository (ADR) that integrates into most major 911 call taking, dispatching, and mapping systems. RapidSOS offers this service at no cost to public safety.

About the Waukesha County Communications Center

The Waukesha County Communications Center (WCC) is the largest Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) in Waukesha County. WCC answers all wireless 911 calls for the County, most non-emergency calls, and provides dispatch services for 32 of Waukesha County’s 37 municipalities. More information about WCC is available at www.waukeshacounty.gov/WCC. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WaukCO911 or on Twitter attwitter.com/WaukCo911.

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