Saving lives with live streaming
3 mins read
We're helping the US emergency services to save lives by giving them a clear view of any accident scene, no matter where they’re located, with the innovative 911eye.
How do emergency services assess a situation when they’re miles away from the scene? The usefulness of calls to 911 is limited by what the caller can describe. If they’re unable to explain the situation, responders can’t tell how serious the incident is, or allocate resources proportionately.
Crisis response is better when emergency services have a clearer picture of the situation. This insight helped us develop a breakthrough piece of technology, which allows 911 callers in America to create their own emergency live streams.
911eye began life as a project developed in the UK with the West Midlands Fire Service called 999eye. The technology allows people at the scene of an accident to live stream what is happening, sharing their footage securely with emergency services from their smart phone using a secure, single-use link sent from the control room. The live images help operators make better assessments of accident scenes and dispatch the most effective resources.
The South River Police Department (SRPD) in New Jersey started using 911eye in October 2018 to optimise allocation of resources, increase safety and take life-saving action. The SRPD already generates video and image content from dashcams, bodycams and CCTV during ongoing incidents and investigations. But for the first time, the department can now access real-time video through a 911 live stream.
911eye made an immediate impact. Lieutenant John J. McKenna said: "I am pleased to report we have just utilized 911eye for our first time. A motorist unfamiliar with our community was involved in an accident. The dispatcher forwarded a link and within seconds was able to determine the location, extent of vehicle damage, description of vehicles involved and impact on passing traffic. It worked flawlessly and as intended." The SRPD describes 911eye as a ‘game changer’, helping the department to deliver its services and process calls faster and more effectively.
They can now:
- retrieve and use real-time footage before an officer arrives on the scene, providing a continuous flow of information for investigations
- provide better information on incidents, including the caller’s location, so operators can accurately assess the resources needed
- save police resources and money where no action is required
- access data to inform decision-making when responding to potentially sensitive calls
- support crime fighting with an increased conviction rate and quicker guilty pleas
- make better and faster decisions to ensure the safety of the public and staff. Lt McKenna can already see the benefits of 911eye’s emergency stream and wants to expand its use.
Lt McKenna can already see the benefits of 911eye’s emergency stream and wants to expand its use.
“Since we started using 911eye we have received positive feedback from our citizens through Facebook, the news media and at our Council meetings. We are delighted to have added this innovative tool to the systems that our dispatchers already use. We are encouraging them to ‘think outside the box’ and make use of it as often as possible while ensuring the safety of the caller at all times.”
John J. McKenna, Lieutenant at South River Police Department