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Rave and RapidDeploy Launch Public Safety Data-Sharing Tool

The California project is designed to help disparate public safety agencies share data and improve communications during emergency responses. The move comes amid a broader push to upgrade 911 call center capabilities.

Closeup of a person dialing 911 on a smartphone.
A new project in California points to the growing importance of data sharing and the breaking down of silos when it comes to public safety — among the rising trends in the world of government technology.

Rave Mobile Safety says that it has partnered with RapidDeploy to launch what a statement called an “incident data sharing solution in the state of California.”

More specifically, this effort focuses on what that statement described as “public safety data aggregation, intelligence sharing, workflows, and notification capabilities found in Rave Aware to enable computer-aided dispatch (CAD) data sharing, interoperability and real-time information exchanges while leveraging best-in-class mapping and data visualization from RapidDeploy Radius Mapping.”

As the companies put it, this data-sharing tool reflects the size and frequency of such major emergencies as wildfires and flooding — along with other disasters such as earthquakes — all of which require responses from a variety of agencies and first responders.

The idea behind this partnership is to encourage and allow more integrated communication despite agency boundaries and “siloed communications,” along with the persistent use of so-called legacy technology.

“(Emergency dispatch centers) in the state of California who opt to use this technology will be able to access Rave Aware, a secure cloud-based data aggregation platform that allows agencies to publish real-time CAD incident data in their preferred format for rules-based processing, notifications and permission-based cross-agency sharing,” Todd Miller, SVP of strategic programs at Rave, told Government Technology via email. “This hub-and-spoke model simplifies integration and lowers total cost of ownership by not requiring point-to-point connections between disparate CAD systems or third-party tools, making information sharing that much easier.”

That means that agencies using the data-sharing tool in California — the first statewide implementation of this particular product — can access incident details, mobile device call data that includes live location capabilities, streaming video and other data.

The product launches in a state that has one of the globe’s largest 911 systems, according to the companies, with some 450 public safety answering points handling about 30 million calls annually. Rave’s other experience in California includes working on the state’s emergency notification alert and warning system, a project related to the Next-Generation 911 push.

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) has put its support behind this new project.

“NENA has long championed the importance of data sharing and interoperability to the emergency response process as part of NG9-1-1,” said Brian Fontes, CEO of NENA, in the statement. “This level of data conveyance and data visualization will certainly enhance public safety response across the state and pave the way for similar efforts in other states.”
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.