Working as a 911 operator isn’t as simple as staying on the line of a call and attempting to help callers while sending the appropriate first responder to the scene. It’s a complex job, often involving multiple pieces of software, computers and other unrelated equipment, all while keeping callers calm and collecting as much information as possible. Gathering this information while coordinating a dispatch, leads to an average 6 to 13-minute response time.
Across the United States, 6,100 emergency call centers average a total of 200 million calls annually ranging from theft and vandalism to medical emergencies and active shooters. Unfortunately, each state has its own regulations and funding for these centers, making it difficult for some to invest in new technology to make dispatchers more efficient and effective.
False Alarms are a Major Issue
Call centers also receive countless false alarm and prank calls, which they must respond to, even if they believe the call to be fake. Studies conducted over the years suggests that 90% to 99% of all calls to 911 are false, which costs first response agencies an estimated $3.1 billion every year.
Remote guarding offers a solution to this problem, by only alerting agents to genuine threats as determined by sophisticated artificial intelligence software, and providing information in real time, dispatch operators can focus on true emergencies and send first responders faster than is the current average. This is especially true during the current pandemic when 911 wait times have doubled in many centers across the country.
Technological Advancements are Lacking
In 911 centers, system updates lag far behind where they need to be. While the operators are thoroughly trained and are highly capable of operating the systems, the process needs to be made easier. While centers wait for these updates, advancements in guarding technology are allowing operators to receive legitimate emergency calls with clearer details.
As 911 centers slowly update to more streamlined systems, remote guarding acts as a strong force multiplier, providing increased safety in the community and faster response times from first responders.