Cloud-native incident management streamlines emergency response – GCN
Cloud-native incident management streamlines emergency response
A new cloud-native software suite connects data and workflows from an initial 911 call to the criminal justice system.
Motorola Solutions’ CommandCentral Suite provides a comprehensive view of incidents, including 911 call management, dispatch, video analysis, field reports, recordings, evidence and community engagement. Automatic collection and correlation of incident data from all sources, including smartphones of passers-by, body-worn cameras of officers, fixed video, 911 calls and radio logs, improves collaboration and constitution of files.
Typically, applications and data are in silos, and while these may be loosely tied together, that’s not enough to streamline the response, said Mahesh Saptharishi, CTO and senior vice president of the unit. Software Enterprise & Mobile Video from Motorola Solutions. The company already had solutions for taking calls and managing evidence, so it was a question of putting them together.
“By making it cloud native, making it very scalable and secure, this is a common user experience that overlaps all aspects of the incident,” said Saptharishi. It allows users to work faster because information is instantly available and they can make clearer decisions because they are not looking for information. Collaboration is streamlined, saving “precious seconds, and precious seconds usually save precious lives.”
Other benefits of being in the cloud include scalability and improved cybersecurity, as Motorola can release fixes when they become available for vulnerabilities, he said.
The suite works like this: someone calls 911, and the call management solution automatically transcribes what the caller says. The technology uses natural language processing to extract relevant information such as the address and status of those involved. This data automatically fills out a form that goes from the call taker to a dispatcher, who can send to applicable response units, such as police, firefighters or emergency medical technicians, the appropriate equipment for the situation.
While responders are working, their body and on-board cameras can be transmitted to the CommandCenter computer-aided dispatch solution so dispatchers and supervisors can see what’s going on. All data from fixed cameras set up as part of a smart city initiative can also be extracted.
All data is pulled from the back-end evidence platform, Saptharishi said. When responders leave the scene and investigators go into post-incident mode to understand what, how and why the incident happened, “video data, call transcript data, dispatcher and their information on interactions they observed – all of this data is now available in a ready-to-use and transcribed form.
Additionally, the data can be presented to a prosecutor as a full case file via a forensic sharing platform within the CommandCentral evidence solution, he said.
To test the software suite, Motorola Solutions worked with Collier County, Fla., To identify weaknesses and inefficiencies, and then see what happened with unified and simplified workflows.
“Calling 911 is the start of a complex process requiring information sharing between call takers; dispatchers; firefighters, EMS and law enforcement agencies; real-time criminal analysts; and investigators, ”said Bob Finney, director of communications technology at the county sheriff’s office, in a June 30 press release announcing the sequel. “Systems today are not designed with this process in mind and are clumsy at best when dealing with the sheer volume and influx of new types of data. For members of the public safety team, every second counts and the rapid and complete transition of information throughout the workflow, so that each individual can make informed decisions, is essential.
Jefferson County, Ala., 911 also participated in user interface and experience research to inform the development of CommandCentral.
From testing, Motorola Solutions found that applications can communicate with each other without relying on users to transmit information. For example, technology can make it possible to complete a form once and share it, and it can better inform dispatchers and responders of reported conditions, such as snow, ice or fire.
“You are aware of data, information, [and you] are able to make decisions with more clarity, ”said Saptharishi.
Stephanie Kanowitz is a freelance writer based in Northern Virginia.