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RapidSOS Boosts Data-Sharing Power for Emergency Dispatchers

The latest product from the growing government technology vendor reflects advances in connecting multiple agencies. RapidSOS says the tool could increase access to real-time data and speed up emergency responses.

The startup RapidSOS has launched a data-sharing tool designed to help emergency dispatchers from multiple agencies communicate across platforms.

The Emergency Data Exchange, or EDX, “represents a new way for RapidSOS to enable data sharing across disparate platforms and unites emergency communication center operations by providing data interoperability and a common understanding of an incident requiring multi-agency response,” wrote Jessica Reed, the company’s vice president for strategy and global partners, in an email to Government Technology.

As she told it, the tool enables different emergency agencies to subscribe to a single incident using a National Emergency Number Association (NENA) standard interface. That gives those agencies quick access to data about an incident as it unfolds, along with the ability to display that data via each agency’s own computer-aided dispatch user interface.

“EDX integrates the same incident data across all responding agencies, eliminating the miscommunication and interference often found in relaying critical incident data via voice on congested radio channels,” Reed wrote.

Agencies using the tool can deploy the technology within days, according to Reed — assuming they already have cloud-based software that support NENA's EIDO standard and the RapidSOS EDX API.

“Premise-based systems will likely require software upgrades to support the integration,” she wrote. “However, more and more, we’re finding that public safety software solution providers have network connectivity to their on-premise solutions which may be utilized, and therefore shorten the deployment time, to connect with the RapidSOS cloud-based EDX.”

This new tool from RapidSOS was built on Amazon Web Service’s GovCloud.

Among that technology’s selling points, Reed said, is its ability to deliver sensitive data related to law enforcement — key to these new tools designed to better link emergency dispatchers and speed incident response.

“Because AWS GovCloud is physically and logically accessible by U.S. persons only, government agencies can manage more heavily regulated data in AWS while remaining compliant with strict federal requirements,” wrote an Amazon spokesperson in a statement.

The e-retailer and cloud-computing provider declined to provide details about how many local and state agencies use GovCloud.

This new tool provides another example of the ongoing expansion of the RapidSOS network and its offerings. In July, for instance, the company launched an emergency response technology network that offers clients access to the latest public safety software.
Thad Rueter writes about the business of government technology. He covered local and state governments for newspapers in the Chicago area and Florida, as well as e-commerce, digital payments and related topics for various publications. He lives in Wisconsin.