For decades, public safety officials have relied on dispatchers to alert them of active emergency situations. Dispatchers act as the intermediary between witnesses at the scene and emergency responders. However, the information they relay might not always be complete, and first responders may lack mission-critical knowledge before arriving. To solve this, cities need a way to give public safety officials eyes and ears on their communities to better assess emergencies, reduce response time and deploy the appropriate agencies to respond.
Today, smart city technologies, powered by Internet of Things sensors and connected devices, are allowing cities and public safety agencies to do just that. Cities around the world are installing nodes and cameras on utility poles, traffic lights and street furniture to create a vast network of sensors that capture critical data for first responders.
Once emergency managers are notified of a situation, they can use FirstNet — the nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network overseen by the First Responder Network Authority— to connect with other agencies and dispatch teams to specific sites, such as a car accident or downed power line.