All fine restaurants have two things in common: they use the best ingredients in their recipes and, more importantly, they have chefs who know exactly what to do with those ingredients.
The public safety sector is on the cusp of an incredibly exciting new era, one that will be driven by a torrent of rich data and more precise wireless location coming into 911 centers. This data potentially will have a spectacular impact on emergency response—but only if it is harnessed effectively.
When the “data tsunami” is contemplated today, it generally is in the context of Next Generation 911 and the nationwide public safety broadband network being implemented by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). But there also is much discussion these days about integrating crowd-sourcing applications—such as the Waze traffic-navigation app—and social media into the emergency response environment, as well as the convergence of the “smart cities” concept and public safety. The idea is to leverage the millions, perhaps billions, of sensors already in place in communities today, from video cameras to motion detectors to gunshot-location systems to wearable devices, and use them to evolve 911 centers into proactive hubs that can prevent emergencies instead of simply responding to them. This data can generate unprecedented situational awareness, which when integrated, prioritized and operationalized into the PSAP, will improve emergency response outcomes and keep first responders safer. This is no small consideration.