For many Americans and Canadians, the ability to call 911 for help in an emergency is one of the main reasons they own a mobile phone. In the US, the number of 911 calls placed by people using wireless phones has significantly increased in recent years. It is estimated that about 70 percent of 911 calls are placed from wireless phones, and that percentage is growing.
First, let’s understand the problem.
The FCC’s concern with mobile location detection
“While wireless phones can be an important public safety tool, they also create unique challenges for emergency response personnel and wireless service providers. Since wireless phones are mobile, they are not associated with one fixed location or address. While the location of the cell site closest to the 911 caller may provide a general indication of the caller’s location, that information is not usually specific enough for rescue personnel to deliver assistance to the caller quickly.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules aimed at improving the reliability of wireless 911 services and the accuracy of the location information transmitted with a wireless 911 call; however, even with Enhanced 9-1-1 (E911) Phase II, location accuracy is not very precise — especially when in urban centres. E911 Phase II mandates that location accuracy be within 300 meters, and be transmitted to 911 within six minutes of a request by a public service answering point (PSAP). That’s a long time!
How Guardly Improves Location Finding
First and foremost, Guardly uses GPS and WiFi hotspot lookups to give you the most accurate location readings. It will use Assisted-GPS (AGPS) as a back-up system, when GPS is not available. Beyond on-device sensors, Guardly allows you to configure predefined locations and manually confirm your location at any time.
Configure Guardly Locations
Guardly helps you to predefine a number of locations in your profile, along with some additional information that can be valuable to responders. Locations such as home, work, cottage, partner’s house and hotel can provide meaningful context to responders when your location becomes available on the map. You can add additional details such as suite/room numbers and buzzer/access codes — to further improve accessibility by your responders.
Guardly Location Confirm
During an emergency, if the Guardly app detects that your location accuracy is off by more than 50 meters, it will ask you to manually confirm your location for your responders. This is as simple as dragging and dropping a pin on a map. Your location will be transmitted as a confirmed location, which is extremely valuable.
By including these additional features, Guardly allows your responders to call 911 on your behalf and relay time-sensitive rescue information more reliably. When Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) becomes available, Guardly will be ready and willing to send your information to the 911 authority as soon as we know you make a confirmed 911 call requesting for their assistance. However, a functional and nationwide NG9-1-1 infrastructure is still a few years away.
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Guardly provides mobile safety solutions for reporting and managing enterprise and public safety emergencies.Our safety apps act as personal emergency phones that transmit real-time indoor/GPS location, and provides two-way communication with private security, 911 authorities and safety groups using our real-time platform for emergency incident monitoring, management, communication and response.
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