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Mark43, RapidSOS Deal Focuses on Emergency Locations

Two of the most active companies in the public safety tech space have teamed up to give emergency dispatchers and first responders more details about calls. The effort reflects a larger trend in the gov tech space.

A firetruck in motion in an urban area.
Location, location, location — the mantra of real estate and retail now applies to emergency dispatch operations, as a new deal involving two major sellers of public safety technology shows.

Mark43 and RapidOS have partnered on an effort to give more precise location information to police officers, firefighters and medical personnel.

That, in turn, will improve the accuracy and speed of emergency responses, according to a statement announcing the deal.

Here’s the specifics: 911 call centers that use Mark43 computer-aided dispatch (CAD) gain access to what the statement called “RapidSOS enhanced location information.”

RapidSOS technology can pinpoint device-specific location information via GPS data that resides in specific mobile devices. That contrasts with traditional 911 operations via which a public safety answering point uses data from a mobile phone network carrier to fix the caller’s location, according to the statement.

The companies said their partnership will result in more sharing with first responders of dynamic location, health and medical, connected building, and other types of data. That translates into more situational awareness for those professionals, the statement said.

“This partnership ensures that first responders using Mark43 CAD are dispatched as efficiently as possible and with the most accurate location information available,” said Bob Hughes, CEO of Mark43. “Public safety agencies deserve the best mission-critical technology, which we’re committed to providing.”

This new partnership reflects the larger trend in public safety and gov tech to provide more location- and device-specific information to dispatchers and the first responders rushing to emergency scenes.

For example, RapidDeploy recently announced that its new app, called Lightning, can send real-time data, including video feeds, to those responders. The company said it designed the tool to boost sharing of data among emergency workers, even those who work for different agencies.

In Kansas, meanwhile, dispatchers have recently turned to new tools such as video calls and the what3words mobile phone app, which can fix a location to within 10 feet — both of them examples of how the work of emergency dispatch is changing as the technology improves.