Emergency response data firm RapidSOS launches partner network

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The emergency response data-management vendor RapidSOS on Tuesday announced the creation of a new “partner network” that integrates 20 other vendors’ products into a common dashboard. The purpose, the company said, is make it easier for workers at the nearly 5,000 emergency communications centers that use RapidSOS’ software to sift through the ever-increasing layers of data collected when responding to a call.

“There are so many screens these communicators need to look at,” Jessica Reed, the company’s vice president of strategy and global partners, said in a phone interview. “Our goal is to bring it to one screen.”

RapidSOS is one of a handful of companies that markets software that aims to deliver real-time information to public safety answering points that’s more robust — and, ideally, precise — than the existing 911 system, which is built on physical telephone lines and being phased out for a next-generation system better suited for contemporary wireless communications.

RapidSOS has since 2018 been integrated into the mobile operating systems made by Apple and Google so that devices on those platforms generate more accurate location data when a person calls 911. The company also works with ride-hailing apps like Uber.

The new partner network expands the breadth of information that can be funneled to a 911 operator, including social-media traffic, 3-D mapping and footage collected by drones and body-worn cameras, Reed said. The roster of participating companies includes Axon, a leading manufacturer of body cameras; PublicSonar, a social-media analytics firm; Mark43, which specializes in computer-aided dispatch and records management; and GeoComm, which sells indoor-mapping software.

If emergency communications centers are customers of any of the participating companies, Reed said, they can add those products into their RapidSOS configurations, instead of having to switch from one application to the next.

“We believe it’s going to dramatically improve efficiency and situational awareness,” she said. “Having one access point, that alone is going to significantly improve their day-to-day. It’s all about reducing the friction. Even if you’re showing data around a particular event, what order should those data fields be shown in? It’s down to that level of granularity to ensure the most efficient, easy-to-use experience.”

The new partner network comes on top of RapidSOS’ existing collaborations, Reed said. Along with its integrations with the likes of Apple, Google and Uber, RapidSOS has partnerships with Motorola, the civic-tech publisher CentralSquare and about 40 other companies.

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911, public safety answering point (PSAP), RapidSOS
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