Dispatchers with the Scott City Police Department in Missouri will soon use a new technology that allows them to access 9-1-1 callers’ phone cameras through a smartphone app, essentially allowing for livestreaming of emergency calls in real time.
The department said the technology — called Prepared Live — will help first responders get eyes on the scene during emergencies.
“Scott City is trying to be on the forefront of 911 technology,” Emergency Management Director Dan King told KFVS 12.
According to the developer’s website, Prepared Live offers 9-1-1 operators “real time, actionable data from callers” with remote access to video, audio, GPS location and text messaging capabilities.
The company is offering free trials of their product for law enforcement agencies.
“When people call 9-1-1, in a 9-1-1 situation it’s an emergency, they’re not always thinking clearly. But if we can see what they’re seeing, it gives us a lot more information to give to responders when they’re responding and it also allows us to help the folks that are calling to deal with the situation,” King explained.
Of course, the technology only works with a caller’s consent.
Scott City 9-1-1 dispatcher Alexis Lambert said that callers must click a link sent by the department to consent to the app. By doing so, they agree to livestream with EMS from their phone.
“As soon as they get the link, they can click that via their consent. It shows us exactly what they see and only what they want us to see. It lets us know when they click on it that way so that we know they get that. We can chat with them if they’re not able to talk to us in case of certain situations,” Lambert explained.
Lambert said the app will allow dispatchers to prepare officers for active emergency situations.
“We’re here to protect them and help them serve them as fast as we can so this system actually helps us to do that and it helps them prepare on their way to the scene so they know what to get ready for,” Lambert said.
King believes the new system could be revolutionary.
“They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well, video is worth a million in this case, so I think this is gonna be great. We rolled this out yesterday and I’m looking forward to seeing how many different ways we can find to use this to help the citizens we serve,” King said.
Scott City EMS launched the app this week. It can be downloaded for free.