Athens-Clarke 911 gets first Uber integrated emergency call

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The system has been in place for months, but the Athens-Clarke County 911 Center just got its first emergency call through integrated Uber technology.

According to ACC Police, an Uber driver used the in-app "Dial 911" feature to place the call at around 12:45 a.m. on June 25.  He reported that he ended a ride with an intoxicated man and his girlfriend after the man started kicking his car.  As the driver pulled away, he told the dispatcher the man fell to the ground and when his girlfriend tried to help him, the man punched her in the face.

"He knocked the girl, like, almost out," the driver said.

In January, ACC 911 implemented new Rapid SOS technology, which pinpoints the location of 911 calls made on cell phones.  The following month, they started a new partnership with Uber so that when callers use the app's 911 button, it automatically shares information with the operator about the make, model and license plate number of the rideshare vehicle.

"With 911 calls the location is key.  This technology gives us that location that much faster," explained Athens-Clarke County Police Capt. Keith Kelley. "Also, getting the Uber vehicle information is important to us because people may not know the exact make and model of the Uber vehicle they're riding in. This gives it to us electronically and we can get people to them that much faster."

The driver let the injured woman get back in the car to wait for police and paramedics to arrive. Dispatch logs show an officer found the vehicle within four minutes of the initial 911 call.

Athens-Clarke County is the first jurisdiction in Georgia to partner with Uber on the technology and officials said they were pleased with how it performed in a true emergency.

"We did tons of testing with it," said 911 Operations Coordinator Jonathan Jones.  "But to actually have it in a real, live call it was very exciting for us and it was very rewarding to see that."

The domestic incident remains under investigation.