Data integration initiatives improve 911 response times nationwide

Emergency call centers around the U.S. have begun introducing data integration software platforms to significantly reduce response times, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The majority of the nation's approximately 8,900 dispatch centers operate independently of each other, so when they receive an emergency call from outside their jurisdiction, they must manually contact the proper center and relay the information. Data integration systems cut down on this wasted time by allowing dispatchers to transfer calls and information across facilities in seconds and with just a few clicks, regardless of what software or service they use.

One such platform, from Lake Mary, Fla.-based CentralSquare Technologies, counts major cities such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston and Dallas among its users and has reportedly connected about 5,000 public safety agencies so far. The service is free to use and is also working in partnership with the federal government's Next Generation 911 initiative to upgrade emergency response technology to enable text message, photo and video communication and more accurately pinpoint caller locations.

According to WSJ, a test run of the CentralSquare software at Ohio's Mifflin Township Fire Department cut response times by up to 45 seconds; national regulators have estimated that up to 10,000 lives could be saved every year if 911 response times were lowered by just one minute.

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