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

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

NYC September 11 Commemoration

Tolling of the bell begins the anniversary ceremony.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Wrong Fuel Cited in New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

Plane received jet fuel instead of aviation fuel.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Wake County EMS PAT

Physical ability test demonstration.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

13th Anniversary of Sept. 11 Terror Attack

The nation remembers the fallen.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Building Explosion, Collapse in Paris Suburb

Death toll rises to eight after blast in Rosny-sous-Bois.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

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


Multimedia Thumb

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

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


More Product Videos >