KELLER (CBSDFW.COM) – First responders in the Keller area say a new app will instantly give them information critical to responding to emergency calls and it could save lives in cities where it is now active: Keller, Westlake, Southlake and Colleyville.
“A lot of the time spent in dispatch on a 911 call is obtaining a location and the nature of the emergency,” said Keller Chief of Police Michael Wilson.
But with a new phone app called SirenGPS those questions are answered before the 911 dispatcher answers the phone.
SirenGPS allows the user to dial 911 by selecting the nature of the emergency, police, fire or medical.
Instantly, the dispatcher can see the type of emergency, who you are and exactly where the call was made pinpointed on a map.
The NETCOM 911 manager Warren Dudley showed us a test conducted by an officer who signaled the system from a highway bridge.
“The pin drop says that person is in the middle of the bridge in the southbound lane,” Dudley said.
Officers responding to the call benefit too.
“The officer can see it on their map as well,” Dudley said.
“It’s a huge leap,” Wilson said. “We’ve gone from using what we call box maps or MAPSCO to now we have an instant location.”
A big inspiration for installing the system was a frightening call from a 7-year-old girl whose mother had collapsed. The little girl knew to call 911.
“But we had a very hard time figuring out where she was at,” Wilson said. “So our response time ended up being four to five minutes when it could’ve been a lot faster.
“As close to an exact location of where they’re at is huge. Not just for the person calling but also for the responding officer’s safety because they can formulate tactics on what the response will be.”
SirenGPS is a free download and can be found on Play Store, iTunes Store or the City of Keller website.