ATLANTA, May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The recent death of music legend Prince has spotlighted a serious issue with the nation's 911 infrastructure and systems. When a person calls 911 with a mobile phone, operators may see inaccurate location data appear on their screens – if they see anything at all. Time that should be spent dealing with the emergency is instead wasted as the operator tries to determine where exactly the caller is, sometimes even having to transfer the caller to another jurisdiction once the location is determined. Enter LaaSer (http://laaser911.com/), a technology startup that has engineered a seamless, cloud-based solution to this public safety challenge.
LaaSer CEO and cofounder Fred White was recently interviewed in a KARE-11 NBC (Minneapolis/St. Paul) news story on the events surrounding Prince's death at his Paisley Park compound. Transcripts from the tragic 911 call reveal how the system did not provide an address, and the individuals present – who were calling on a mobile phone – did not know the exact location. At one point, the operator even suggested looking for pieces of mail that might have an address. White explains that these lost seconds and minutes can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.
"If there's something worthwhile that can come out of the passing of a famous and inspiring figure like Prince, then we owe it to everyone to make that a reality," says White. "The unfortunate truth is that today's 911 infrastructure for cell phones has not kept pace with the rapid evolution of mobile technology. In the U.S. alone, there are nearly 400 million of these devices in people's hands. People take them everywhere – and emergencies can happen anywhere."
Video: Could Prince's Death Bring Positive Change to 911 Location Problems? - https://youtu.be/Mw_gdcc0BJQ
The entire 911 system – and its location/routing capabilities – was originally designed with landlines in mind. However, fewer than half of all households now have a landline. Seven out of ten 911 calls are now being made from mobile phones. That amounts to 168 million calls each year. The LaaSer team estimates that location data for about 130 million of those calls could be improved. And with better data, emergency responders can be on the scene more quickly.
"Modernizing the capabilities of our nation's 911 systems is a crucial public safety issue," adds White. "The fact that my cell phone knows exactly where I am, but there's no way currently to provide that information automatically to the appropriate 911 call center is disappointing, and I'm personally committed to solving that issue. The FCC's own estimates say that we could save over 10,000 lives per year just by shaving one minute off of response times for mobile callers."
One of LaaSer's key advantages is it doesn't require cell phone companies or call centers to upgrade any hardware or software, or to learn any new systems. The cloud-based solution works entirely with existing infrastructure. LaaSer incorporates the existing technology built into every cell phone, such as GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, to deliver fast and accurate location data to 911 operators.
Insuring that the nation's 911 systems are up to speed is in large part the responsibility of the Federal Communications Commission. Recently, White was chosen to participate in the FCC's Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Working Group on Evolving 911 Services. The working group's mission is to offer guidance, expertise and recommendations to the FCC. White and the entire LaaSer team expect to be important contributors to that mission, as their novel technology has already demonstrated its tremendous value.
About LaaSer Critical Communications, LLC
LaaSer Critical Communications is dedicated to solving the problems associated with calling 911 from mobile devices. LaaSer has created patent-pending technology that pinpoints a 911 caller's location, using any mobile device, efficiently routes them to the appropriate 911 call center, and provides the 911 operator with precise location information. LaaSer's technology requires no upgrades on the part of 911 call centers or network operators.
Jon Harmer, CMO
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SOURCE LaaSer Critical Communications, LLC