Solacom Webinar Highlights Benefits of Accurate Location Data

Presenters explain how advanced mapping software and accurate data reduce response times

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 9, 2018 — The ability to leverage accurate location data is essential for public safety answering points (PSAPs), enabling them to quickly pinpoint emergency callers and improve response times. That was the consensus at a National Emergency Number Association (NENA) webinar that took place on May 2, 2018. Sponsored by Solacom, a leader in emergency call handling and management solutions, this was one of NENA’s most popular webinars of the year, drawing more than 500 registrants.

Jennifer Hunt, director of a northern Arkansas PSAP, praised the advanced location capabilities of Solacom’s Guardian Map solution. Marion County 911 was able to use the advanced mapping software to locate and apprehend a school shooting hoax caller within 13 minutes of the initial mobile call. The caller’s location was accurate to 30 feet.

“This was one of those calls that has become way too frequent across the United States right now and it kind of hit home with us. Locating the caller became very important. As first responders we all know how critical time can be and the location that came up on the map was priceless,” says Hunt, Marion County 911’s E911 director.

Previously, Hunt explained, PSAPs could take up to 45 minutes to receive a caller’s exact location from mobile phone providers before even being able to dispatch a first responder to the scene. With Guardian Map — one of the only solutions available today that supports call handling within the mapping application — a mobile caller’s location is displayed instantly and updates each time the call taker refreshes the screen. Critical to the success of any advanced mapping application is the quality of the Geographic Information System (GIS) data.

“Some of the real benefits of matching accurate GIS data with advanced mapping include improved address validation, a dispatchable address rather than just x and y coordinates, and indoor location information, such as a floor or an office number, which can be critical information for a first responder,” says Nancy MacDonald, vice president of business development at Solacom. “The ultimate outcome of this is improved response times.”

Some of these capabilities are possible now or will be soon, as the technology rapidly advances. Other valuable data includes accurate routing suggestions, aerial photographs, building diagrams, and building systems (elevators, security systems, and HVAC systems).

The webinar also featured Reinhard Ekl, vice president of product & public safety at RapidSOS, who explained how PSAPs can now also leverage commercial databases to improve location accuracy of wireless calls.

A recording of the webinar, Pinpointing Callers With Accurate Location Data, can be viewed on the NENA website:

About Solacom

Solacom 9-1-1 call handling and management solutions are built on more than 30 years of research and innovation in the application of advanced hardware and software technologies for public safety. Today, Solacom Guardian 9-1-1 solutions support thousands of agencies affecting millions of lives annually. From dense urban environments to statewide deployments, Solacom solutions are trusted to streamline 9-1-1 call handling and management processes and enable more efficient collection of critical information in emergency situations. For more information, visit: