MCP Insights

Leveraging Social Media Data in Charleston County, SC

Posted by Dave Sehnert on Jul 20, 2018 9:30:40 AM

Recent history has shown that, when 911 becomes overwhelmed, citizens turn to social media in an effort to have their pleas for help heard.

Last fall, Texans trapped in homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey used the social radio network app Zello to contact the volunteer Cajun Navy fleet and posted their addresses on Facebook and Twitter to aide emergency medical services in locating them. After a 7.1 magnitude earthquake collapsed buildings in Mexico City, volunteers used WhatsApp to recruit and mobilize informal search and rescue teams before the army, navy and civil protection units were mobilized. When wild fires destroyed parts of California over the course of several months, many turned to social media to plead for help locating missing loved ones and to mark themselves as “safe” using Facebook’s Crisis Response feature when they could not reach friends and relatives.

Read More

Topics: 911 Anniversary, Data Integration

INTERVIEW: Helping 911 Evolve as Technology Evolves

Posted by Glenn Bischoff on Jun 4, 2018 3:21:25 PM

This blog post is the second in a two-part series with two MCP experts, John Cunnington and Nancy Pollock, who together have more than of 80 years of experience in public safety communications. This blog post is part of our Let's Evolve 911 campaign that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first 911 call, which took place 50 years ago this year.

In a previous post, Nancy Pollock and John Cunnington shared their perspectives on the evolution of 911 service in the United States over its first half century. In this post, they pick up where they left off, finishing with their insights regarding the sector’s future.

MCP Insights: In the previous post, you spoke of the addressing challenges that existed in the early stages of 911 service. But eventually, ANI/ALI and selective routers became ubiquitous—so the next big step forward was the introduction of CAD.

Nancy: To understand how important the introduction of CAD was, you have to understand how things were done before it arrived. 

John: There was a manually created “run card” for every physical location—on that card was a list of the various emergency services that could be dispatched to that location. These run cards were the precursors of the datasets that are contained in today’s CAD systems. When a call came in, the dispatcher would pull the run card and use it to make the appropriate dispatching decisions. It was important that the run card was put back in its rightful place, so that it would be available for the next incident at that location. Keeping the cards updated was a major effort.

Read More

Topics: 911 Anniversary

INTERVIEW: In the Early Days, Implementing 911 Was No Easy Task

Posted by Glenn Bischoff on May 31, 2018 10:30:00 PM

This blog post is the first in a two-part series with two MCP experts, John Cunnington and Nancy Pollock, who together have more than of 80 years of experience in public safety communications. This blog post is part of our Let's Evolve 911 campaign that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first 911 call, which took place 50 years ago this year.

A national property insurance firm coined the slogan, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.” Given the collective experience of MCP’s experts, it is a slogan we too would be justified in using.

In this year when the 50th anniversary of 911 service in the United States is being celebrated, two of those experts, John Cunnington and Nancy Pollock, shared their memories about the things they’ve seen over their well-established 911 careers, with a focus on the evolution of 911 service to date.

MCP Insights: What was 911 service like when you started your career?

John: I started in the mid-1970s, in a very rural part of central Pennsylvania, and for the first six to eight years we didn’t have routine access to 911 service. With only small towns or cities with 911, depending on the type of emergency, citizens would call 10-digit numbers for each discipline: police, fire, EMS and so on. Consolidated communications centers was our key focus. It was a lot to coordinate, and getting calls to the right place was cumbersome, time-consuming and fraught with error. And even though we could see the benefits of consolidating all calls in a single emergency number and platform, many service chiefs and local elected officials resisted the change, citing local control and knowledge. The key to our early success was having a “champion” in each county for consolidation. In my early experience, I was supported by courageous police chiefs, EMTs and firefighters to keep consolidation in the forefront. They were the early adopters in those years.

Read More

Topics: 911 Anniversary

MCP Urges FCC to Promote Uniform Adoption of Location-Based Routing Technologies

Posted by Dave Sehnert on May 17, 2018 2:30:00 PM

On March 22, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a notice of inquiry about how to route 911 calls to the proper call center faster and what the public should expect when calling 911 from a wireless device.

911 centers continue to struggle with location accuracy. The problem has been the subject of intense media scrutiny of late. The key question: why smartphone applications provide better location information than that received by 911 centers.

This negative media attention is well-warranted. Emergency call misroutes occur in great volumes across the U.S. every day. Misroutes, or misrouted calls, are 911 calls that are received by one PSAP and then transferred to another. However, it is important to note that the “misroutes” that are the subject of the FCC's recent inquiry mostly result from current 911 call routing mechanisms that rely on a cell tower location working as designed, not from technical failure of those mechanisms.

MCP has witnessed this firsthand in two states where we have conducted wireless integrity testing. In one county, we witnessed an astonishing error rate—38 percent of all test calls were misrouted. With wireless devices generating 80 percent of 911 calls across the nation, with some states experiencing up to 90 percent, emergency call misroutes literally are a life-and-death problem.

Read More

Topics: Next Generation 911, public safety, 911 Anniversary

The Difference Between Change Management and Change Leadership In Public Safety Communications

Posted by John Spearly on May 7, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Profound changes are coming to the public safety sector, particularly to 911 centers. Next Generation 911 systems and the nationwide public safety broadband network—which is being implemented by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)—will generate a tremendous amount of new, actionable data in real-time that dramatically will enhance situational awareness, in turn improving emergency response by leaps and bounds. In time, even more usable information generated by the billions of data-collection sensors already in place—whose numbers will reach into the trillions in the not-too-distant future—will be leveraged by 911 centers, which will become the center of the information universe, at least as it pertains to public safety.

Read More

Topics: Next Generation 911, Network Evolution, FirstNet, Operations, 911 Anniversary

Evolving the public safety industry

MCP Insights by Mission Critical Partners is the online destination for public safety leaders to expand their knowledge, stay abreast of trends, and discover innovative ideas to help implement change that will advance the industry... Because the mission matters.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts