Alexandria, Va. – Today, APCO International released a Fact Sheet on Mobile Apps and 9-1-1, and a White Paper on “The Status of 9-1-1 Apps.” These documents are intended to educate the general public and stakeholders in the app development community on the state of the 9-1-1 system and the role that mobile apps can play currently and in the future.
These actions build upon APCO’s efforts to ensure that apps serving a public safety or emergency response purpose, including those intended to connect with 9-1-1 centers, are as safe and effective as possible. APCO launched a website dedicated to public safety apps (The Application Community – www.AppComm.org), published a list of Key Attributes of Effective Apps for Public Safety and Emergency Response, and undertook collaborative efforts aimed at improving the security of mobile apps.
Contacting 9-1-1 is often the first step for getting help in an emergency, whether personal or catastrophic in nature. The 9-1-1 network is trusted, reliable, secure, and separate from the networks that handle ordinary calls and wireless data connections to the Internet. As illustrated in the Fact Sheet and White Paper, while apps hold great promise for improving public safety and emergency response, much work remains to ensure they are sufficiently secure and reliable, especially with respect to the 9-1-1 system.
“The public relies upon the 9-1-1 network and the skills of those who answer these calls and dispatch emergency responders – our nation’s professional public safety telecommunicators,” APCO President John Wright said. “Having recently celebrated the two-year anniversary of AppComm and with the increased consideration of apps for 9-1-1, this is a fitting time to examine the issues and remind the public that calling 9-1-1 is the best way to get help in an emergency.”
APCO International® (www.apcointl.org)
APCO International is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association. It serves the needs of public safety communications practitioners worldwide – and the welfare of the general public as a whole.