FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - Soon, residents in one metro Atlanta county will be able to make video calls to the 911 center when needing help. Fayette County said it will be the first in the country where a 911 caller will be able to show a dispatcher their emergency with the camera of their smartphone.
Residents still will be able to call, but soon there will be the options for text or even video conference with a dispatcher about their emergency. This can help first responders better prepare before they arrive and can help save lives.
“It may be that they are going to able to see a propane tank next to that structure. Or maybe there is a car next to that structure. They will be able to see where the electrical shutoff is possible. Maybe see that there are people trapped and trying to get help,” said Bernard Brown, Fayette 911 Director.
Although the 911 operator will be able to see the caller, callers won’t be able to see them. But as important as live streaming video is, the most important aspect of the new system is that it will help the 911 center accurately determine where the call is being placed. That’s something 911 centers have struggled with for decades. This new system can locate a caller to within a few feet.
“We are going to be able to pinpoint what floor they are on. What room they are in. We are going to be able to pinpoint if they are in a stairwell between the second and third floor,” Brown said.
Fayette County said it will be the first in the country to offer video calling, but other counties in Georgia are looking into it also.
The system is made by an Israeli company call Carbyne.
Residents will still be able to make a traditional 911 call or can use an app for extra features like creating a personal profile with important information.
“You put in your profile that you are a diabetic, we are going to know that immediately. We’ll be able to say hey this is a diabetic and this is why they are talking with slurred speech,” Brown said.
Or residents don’t need the app at all.
“If you don’t download the app, you are going to have a link that will dial 911 here in Fayette County and when you open up the link it is going to give you the same features as if you used the app,” Brown said.
Fayette County will be able to receive multiple 911 video calls. Allowing the 911 dispatcher to prioritize emergency response to multiple locations based on the live video feeds.
The new system is expected to begin late summer or early fall of this year.