FULTONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) -Prepared Live 911 is a computer system that helps connect a caller to dispatchers. What makes the difference for call centers is the opportunity to have a live video feed sent from a user’s phone directly to the call center.
Montgomery County’s Technical Communications Coordinator, Brittney Dobbs, says a dispatcher can send a link to a caller’s phone that gives them a choice to share their camera. Free of charge, Dobbs says this technology allows everyone involved to react more quickly.
“Prior to, we never had any kind of visualization of what the caller was actually seeing to help better prepare our first responders. Now we have the ability of within not even a minute, we can get a live view of what’s going on and help better prepare everybody who is responding. So we have the right resources and we’re able to direct them to the correct location,” explained Dobbs.
Once a caller gives access to their phone to a dispatcher, the caller is able to stop the live feed at anytime and even black out their screen to make it seem like nothing is being recorded. Pictures and texts can also be exchanged.
Dobbs says this is done to make sure the caller is less likely to be seen by someone dangerous. “If you’re in a situation where you now cannot talk anymore, you’re able to send them messages and they’re still able to see through the video feed,” described Dobbs.
Dispatchers such as Taylor Gifford say Prepared 911 can even come in handy when a caller can’t speak the same language as their dispatcher. “It’s time consuming trying to get a translator. If we can see it much faster than we can get a translator it’s a lot more helpful,” stated Gifford.
Gifford and her fellow dispatchers answer anywhere from 200 to 300 calls a week that use Prepared 911. Being one of the first counties to use the software in New York, Dobbs hopes other counties follow their lead.