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Mobile technology enables a faster, more coordinated emergency response

Whether it’s a natural catastrophe in the form of a tornado, or a high-octane political rally gone awry, emergency situations can arise quickly—and spiral out of control just as fast!

Less than a decade ago, many agencies were (and some still are) reliant on outdated systems that used spreadsheets, checklists and assorted paper print-outs to roll-out and monitor emergency response. Though radio and email communication were ubiquitous, disparate data sources and the lack of an intelligent mass notification strategy meant an effective, coordinated response was largely unattainable.

Today, technology is helping to eliminate the slow-downs caused by paper and the lack of shared resources. Reliable new web-based solutions are helping support theplanning and response needs of law enforcement, fire and rescue services, even allowing multiple agencies to share information seamlessly using one common operating picture.

But, arguably the biggest leap forward in emergency response has been the advent of mobile technology.  Through mobile dispatching and handheld devices, emergency coordination and collaboration has increased significantly, giving all first responders the ability to send and receive updates from wherever they happen to be. Even volunteers can share and receive vital information, leading to better, safer event resolution at a mere fraction of the time.

Communicating; assigning tasks; updating citizens through social media 

Floods and fires can happen quickly, often with very little notice. Through mobile technology, even simple things like assigning tasks and issuing orders can happen remotely, freeing up first responders to head straight to the scene where and when they’re needed most, without compromising on safety.

Mobility enhances communication between commander and officer, dispatch and field, and even allows for integration across the many different services collaborating in the response effort. Through alerts and updates sent via social media, the community at-large can be notified instantly of threatening conditions in a wide-reaching way that wasn’t possible only a decade ago. Steps can be taken well in advance to curtail casualties and damage.

Applications have come a long way too, with sophisticated, yet user-friendly solutions available to first responders conveniently on their tablets, laptops and smartphones. Imagine what the future might hold with a volunteer dispatch app used during cross-border emergencies. Wildfires and earthquakes know no boundaries, and nor should our efforts to contain them.

Public safety mobile technologies have the potential to transform how police and law enforcement agencies respond to calls to service, search and receive critical information in the field, streamline operational workflows, and engage with the public,” said Waylon Kenning, product manager for Intergraph OnDuty.  "Mobility is everywhere, in our personal lives, and our work lives. That usage is only going to grow as these devices become more integrated into your day to day policing and public safety workflows".

Maintaining service, managing expectations

Given today’s heightened connectivity, public safety and security organizations are not only tasked with achieving and maintaining high levels of service, but also managing the expectations of citizens demanding more transparency and precision than ever. Beyond that, there are also the mandates of public officials and regulators, and the impacts of new forms of technology, including IP and mobile communications, to factor into how they operate despite narrowing budgets and rising staffing pressures.

Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, a global leader in public safety and security solutions knows that by improving the quality, accuracy, and availability of critical information through mobile technology, public safety, security, performance and productivity will all benefit. Every day, mobile solutions are being used by agencies to reduce dispatcher workloads, decrease radio traffic, and cut the time responders spend filling out paperwork—and day-by-day, it’s only getting better.

Find out how Hexagon’s mobile solutions can help you. Download the E-book ‘Advancing Policing Through Technology’ at http://go.hexagonsi.com/mobilityebook.