Pilot Lets 999 Calllers Livestream Emergencies From A Smartphone

Fire Engine - Shutterstock - © Nando Machado

999EYE livesteam service will provide real-time information back to emergency service control rooms. aiding their response

Callers of 999 in the West Midlands will be able to use their smartphones to provide livestreams on emergencies to emergency control rooms.

Developed by Capita and the West Midlands Fire Service, 999EYE allows people to send live footage to the emergency services via a URL in a text message sent to the 999 caller’s phone, which when clicked established a one-use-only livestream along with GPS co-ordinates to the control room.

Less voyeur that it would seem ,999EYE has been designed to provide the emergency response team with the information they need to an incident, such as its severity and the way it its developing in real-time.

999 livestream

999eyeThe service will be piloted by the West Midlands Fire Service initially, and if it is successful it is likely to be rolled out to other services.

“Our fire crews currently take an average of just 4 minutes and 40 seconds to reach emergencies in which people or buildings are in danger. Responding to incidents safely, quickly and assertively is key to reducing casualties and damage to property,” said area commander Steve Taylor of West Midlands Fire Service.

“We’re proud to be at the technological forefront with 999EYE. It will help to ensure that people get the most appropriate response, complementing the skills of our expert control staff in obtaining information from 999 callers.”

Given how many people have smartphones with built-in cameras and the rising use of footage shot on such devices to provide first-hand accounts of everything from carnival to calamities, and marches to massacres, it does not take too much of a leap in imagination to see how the 999EYE service could benefit the emergency services.

Capita’s chief executive Chris Jones certainly sees potential with the service: “In addition to fire and rescue services, this technology could advance the way 999 calls are reported and dealt with by the Police, Ambulance services, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Mountain Rescue services across the UK.”

The emergency services appear to be getting more tech savvy with thousands of London police receiving wearable cameras to assist in their law enforcement work. However, there are some caveats with embracing technology as seen with the delayed emergency services 4G network.

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