Google Is Helping Make It Easier For Police And Rescue Teams To Find You In An Emergency
I once had the opportunity to be a 911 operator for a city close to where I lived. The police officer I met while working a security job told me about it, then gave me the details. I asked further about it and he said it’s a difficult job because you have to keep calm while the person on the other end could be going through the worst experience of their lives. What if the police don’t make it in time? Wouldn’t I feel partially to blame? Hard pass.
If you call 911 from your cellphone and not a landline, your location is sent to the 911 operator by a wireless carrier. The problem is that it isn’t always spot on. Since I’ve never had to call 911 from my cellphone, I always wondered about that. How can it be accurate and know that I’m calling the right city to respond to the emergency?
Now, Google could have a better way of doing this and it has recently tested a new system in a couple states in December and January. Google randomly selected 911 caller’s location data using Android phones from Texas, Florida and Tennessee, and the results were positive.
One company involved with the tests said that over 80% of the 911 calls where the new Google system was being used said Google’s location data was more accurate that the previous way of tracking locations. RapidSOS, the company in question, explained that while the usual location data was accurate within 522 feet, Google’s narrowed it to around 121 feet. Not only that, but the data arrived quicker.
If this new technology of getting first responders to a location faster and with better information, I’m sure it will save a lot of lives down the line.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.