BREAKING NEWS: An American software company soon will support live video streaming for public-safety officials. The new program from Rave Mobile Safety allows dispatchers to initiate a streaming session from a 911 caller or someone else with a smart device that is in the vicinity of an incident, according to news reports. The software was demonstrated earlier this month at the NENA 2019 event in Orlando. Beta testing of the feature began six months ago, and is ongoing. Live video streaming functionality is expected to be generally available by the end of the year. Read the full story below.
“Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), a provider of emergency and public safety solutions that help save lives, will unveil live streaming of its emergency technology solutions at NENA 2019. TRave’s live streaming works with the existing 911 system and networks to provide telecommunicators, supervisors, emergency operations center (EOC) managers, field commanders, responders and emergency management officials the ability to request a live feed from any smartphone, without the need for a pre-loaded app or a NG911 network.
Rave’s live streaming enables the 911 dispatcher or other authorized public safety official to initiate live streaming by simply sending a text message to the caller with a link to establish the streaming video, putting the control of video into the hands of public safety.
Once initiated on both sides, the call taker or first responder can use the live stream to gain situational awareness and determine what resources should be allocated. Dispatchers, who will be able to view the stream but not appear on it themselves, can also instantly share video with supervisors, first responders and other emergency personnel whose expert opinions can be used to ensure a fast, safe and appropriate response.
The feature will help free up life-saving resources by identifying issues that may not require significant or urgent response. Where the situation dictates, the dispatcher or responder can easily manage multiple live streams. Callers or other citizens can only live stream when the public safety agency sends them a request, eliminating the risk of agency personnel who are untrained or unprepared for video content receiving it.
“Dispatchers always visualize the scene when they’re on a call,” said Robert R. Stahelin II, 911 and Tech Support Supervisor of Eaton County 911, Michigan, and Rave 911 Suite user who is an early adopter of live stream. “With this new feature, they will actually be able to see the scene, which will help improve responder safety and the caller’s safety.”
John Jokantas, Director of Hancock County, Indiana 911 Center, first deployed the Rave 911 Suite in May 2017 and is another early user of live stream. “Live video is definitely going to change the way 911 emergency dispatch serves citizens and first responders,” he said. “The stream gives dispatch a live look into a scene before responders arrive.”
Jokantas also sees other potential uses for live streaming video in public safety. “Imagine a nurse or doctor being able to triage a patient from outside the building where a mass causality event has just taken place. Dispatchers can relay important safety information to officers who are responding to a dangerous call. Fire Controllers could have the ability to see if there are flames present or what color smoke is coming from a possible structure fire. As part of the Rave 911 Suite, the ways we can use this to our advantage are endless.”
Live stream can be an effective tool across multiple scenarios, including active shooters, school emergencies, mass casualty events, severe weather, traffic accidents and industrial disasters, among others. For example, a live stream of a fire in a large manufacturing plant could help a dispatcher understand the actual size and scope of what is happening, instead of relying on an unclear or subjective description; the dispatcher could also consult with an expert who, upon seeing the stream, would know that yellow smoke being produced is likely an ammonia gas leak, requiring immediate evacuation of the space.
“As mobile devices and streaming video become more pervasive in our society, it only makes sense to leverage that technology in critical, often life-saving situations,” said Todd Piett, CEO at Rave Mobile Safety. “Live streaming is like a one-way FaceTime® call that can put the 911 call taker’s or first responder’s eyes on a situation in seconds, and when coupled with the information in the Rave 911 Suite, provides the most comprehensive insight available to help PSAPs respond swiftly and appropriately to every call.”
What do you think of this new public safety technology? Do you think it will help save lives? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comment section below!