9to5Mac reports that the 911 emergency service has adopted the simple technology for iPhone and Android users to live stream a car accident or fire to the operator from the location. This capability will give the emergency responders a more comprehensive description of the situation and will help them in determining how many resources should be dispatched.
Previously, 911 emergency callers rely on the description of the eyewitness or the person reporting the incident and that description might not be adequate in judging the severity of the situation. Therefore, this new technology is expected to be a game-changer for rescue workers.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) is using now testing a similar live stream feature where smartphone users, iPhone and Android, can start a live stream. The authorities say that it is the first 2021 century upgrade the department has received and will be detrimental in saving lives by delivering the required response.
They refer to the unfortunate fire at the Grenfell Tower which resulted in 72 fatalities. In hindsight, the tragedy would have been averted if all resources were dispatched in time and eyewitnesses’ description of the fire was not presumed to be exaggerated.
A full-scale response was delayed because the type of fire people were reporting should have been impossible, so they thought descriptions of it were exaggerated.
The severity of the emergency was initially underestimated by controllers, as the design of the tower block should have contained the fire within a single apartment for at least 30 minutes. Talk of fire climbing the building was assumed to be nothing more than flames emerging from a window. Even the first firefighters to see the fire for themselves found it hard to believe what they were witnessing.
iPhone and Android users will be sent a link to initiate a live stream of an accident or fire
According to the report, when a person will reported an accident or fire, the emergency operator will send them a link. Simply by tapping on the link, the authority will be given access to the phone’s camera. So that they can live stream the incident and dispatch the required resources to the scene.
A simple technology that enables 911 live streaming is proving invaluable in letting emergency services see for themselves the nature of an emergency when someone calls them.
When you use your smartphone to make an emergency call, operators can text you a link. When you tap on that, you will grant access to your phone’s cameras, so that they can see the emergency situation for themselves.
This allows emergency services to instantly assess everything from the size of a fire to the severity of a car crash.
However, the report does not address the privacy concerns of allowing authorities access to users’ iPhone cameras and how will the authorities deal with miscreants abusing the live-streaming feature.
In iOS 14.6, Apple Maps also introduced the capability to report traffic incidents, speed checks, and other road-related hazards and incidents along their route. This new feature is helpful for other Apple Maps users who are planning to travel through the route.
A 999 call can now switch to video.
⁰New technology allows London Fire Brigade to see, as well as listen, during an emergency. 999EYE allows callers to live stream from smart phones.
It’s an improvement to @LondonFire’s control room after Grenfell, as @RagsMartel reports pic.twitter.com/FkbmXccoGY
— ITV London (@itvlondon) October 22, 2021