GPS Harnessed for Emergencies in Wash.

The new information will become part of an improved Next Generation 9-1-1


 
 

Mike Prager, Spokesman Review | | Friday, February 3, 2012


SPOKANE, Wash. -- Mike Shannon of the Spokane County 911 emergency system was working on a north Spokane street on Thursday, collecting geo-positioning data for the homes there.

His work is part of an ongoing upgrade of the 911 communications system.

A suspicious resident stepped out onto his front porch and jokingly asked, "Do I have to call 911?"

"I am 911," Shannon replied and explained his work.

Dressed in a safety vest with a data collector in hand, Shannon admits he is a curiosity but not a threat. He's one of the good guys.

Another resident drove up a short time later and asked what was going on.

Shannon explained that the goal is to improve location information for 911 dispatchers handling emergency calls that arrive over landline telephones.

To do so, he is collecting the precise latitude, longitude and elevation for each residence.

That way, if someone is unable to talk, the dispatchers will know where to send crews.

The data is accurate to within about a yard.

The address verification will also eliminate confusion and misinformation in the existing system, part of which is based on phone company records, he said.

It will more closely identify apartments within buildings that have multiple units at the same street address. Elevation data will show the floor of the unit.

The new information will become part of an improved Next Generation 911, expected in about three years.

Officials want residents throughout Spokane County to know that if they see Shannon on their streets with his hand-held device, it's OK. He has his safety vest and drives a white Ford Escape with "911 Address Verification Vehicle" labeled on the doors.

Shannon's device uses global positioning (GPS) to establish coordinates that are then downloaded to a digital file and become part of the county's geographic information system.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, geo-positioning data, Next Generation 9-1-1

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Image Trend: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ImageTrend just challenged NEMSIS TAC and a couple others.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.?

A.J. Heightman participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a big way!
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Details on Discipline Released in D.C. Investigation

Interim fire chief claims punishment was not severe enough.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters Recovering from Injuries

One of the four remains in critical condition.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >