The Kansas 911 Coordinating Council has one goal: Ensure you quickly get help should you ever need to call for emergency assistance. The Council continues to advance its efforts as it employs next-generation technologies that are helping to increase 911 resiliency, reliability, efficiency and accuracy across the state. In its latest step, the Council is working with AT&T to deploy a cloud-based mapping and situational awareness solution powered by RapidDeploy.
The new solution includes RapidDeploy’s Nimbus platform. This is a Cloud Aided Dispatch system that gives first responders – from 911 call takers to dispatchers to emergency personnel in the field – access to enhanced location accuracy tools, pictures and videos, text translations, and live data feeds for natural disasters like fires, floods or earthquakes.
Access to this critical, rich information can help lead to more precise information about the incident and more accurate caller locations. For Kansans, that could mean improved emergency preparedness and response times – and ultimately, improved outcomes.
“When someone calls 911, it typically means something has gone terribly wrong. The caller – whether for themselves, a loved one or a stranger – can’t always articulate their location or vital details of the situation. That’s why we lean on technology to help us operate at our best and deliver the potentially life-saving services Kansans count on,” said Scott Ekberg, Director, Kansas 911 Coordinating Council. “We’ve long been a leader in NextGen 911 deployments, and we’re proud to be the first, major system to move our 911 solutions to the cloud. Our continued work with AT&T and the addition of the RapidDeploy Nimbus platform will further our ability to better serve Kansas residents should they ever need to call for help.”
The RapidDeploy Nimbus platform is hosted in the cloud on Microsoft Azure Government and accessed through a browser. Azure Government employs world-class security and compliance services critical to the U.S. government for all systems and applications built on its architecture. Using AT&T VPN, Kansas 911 centers will be able to access the solution through AT&T NetBond® for Cloud, enabling a highly secure connection to transfer data between the call routing platform and RapidDeploy.
First responders can also connect to the solution through a web browser using FirstNet, public safety’s nationwide LTE network platform. Having access to information in Nimbus gives first responders the ability to see what the dispatcher sees so that they can better serve the public.
“By adopting a future-proof Cloud Aided Dispatch and mapping platform, the State of Kansas is leading the nation by realizing the full potential of Next Generation 911 CAD,” said Steve Raucher, CEO & Co-Founder of RapidDeploy. “911 centers across Kansas will have access to improved situational awareness and enhanced interoperability.”
The Kansas 911 Coordinating Council also developed a statewide GIS information dataset to develop mapping technology at the local, regional and statewide levels for use with the Nimbus platform. This tactical mapping system combined with the situational awareness tools within Nimbus as well as the previously deployed AT&T hosted call handling system and AT&T ESInet™ call routing system all help speed emergency response and increase reliability among 911 centers, dispatchers and first responders.
“We applaud the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council for its ongoing dedication to deliver an outstanding emergency response experience,” said Stacy Schwartz, vice president, AT&T Public Safety & FirstNet. “We’re proud to continue to evolve public safety technology to help provide better information and enable enhanced decision-making among everyone involved in the public safety process. Working with RapidDeploy, we’re helping unify critical 911 functions to boost speed, security and reliability between 911 call takers, dispatchers and first responders – all for the benefit of those they work tirelessly to help keep safe.”
AT&T will deploy the Nimbus platform at more than 80% of 911 centers in the state. The first phase of the deployment is expected to be complete in early 2020.