ATLANTA, May 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With his trademark blend of humor and seriousness, Last Week Tonight anchorman John Oliver described everything that's wrong with the nation's current 911 systems. Chief among those problems is the inability of dispatchers to quickly and easily locate callers using mobile phones. LaaSer (http://laaser911.com/), a new company already garnering recognition for its cloud-based solution to this problem, welcomes the added attention Oliver has brought to this life-and-death issue.
"LaaSer was developed solely to address the tragic shortcomings of 911 systems across the nation," says CEO and Cofounder Fred White. "In addition to many being underfunded or understaffed, 911 call centers are hamstrung by a system that is twenty years behind the technological curve. Outdated technology can take many minutes to find a caller on a mobile device, if at all. The irony is that nearly all of us carry a mobile phone capable of telling us our location with great accuracy. LaaSer takes advantage of this fact to give dispatchers fast, accurate information about where callers are."
Each year, more than 240 million calls are placed to 911. As Oliver correctly observes, nearly everyone takes the system for granted – unaware of its fatal flaws. In fact, it's surprisingly common for dispatchers to have trouble zeroing in on a caller's precise location. Landline phones present no such problem, but increasingly, calls are coming from mobile phones instead. Emergencies can happen anywhere, and people generally take their phones everywhere. Today, up to 80% of 911 calls are placed on mobile phones, and that number is increasing every year.
The chances of a 911 dispatcher quickly finding a mobile caller vary from place to place, but can be as low as 10%. The FCC wants this accuracy to reach 80% by 2021, but White believes that timeline is far too conservative – and he says LaaSer can bridge the gap today. According to FCC research, a 1-minute improvement in response times could save over 10,000 lives.
LaaSer works by leveraging the existing infrastructure of mobile networks and technology built into every smartphone (GPS, Wi-Fi, compass, etc.) to provide immediate location information. The system is seamless in that it doesn't require call centers to install any new software, or dispatchers to learn new tools. The cloud-based technology works with any mobile device.
The Last Week Tonight segment included excerpts from 11Alive reporter Brendan Keefe's series of investigative stories, "Lost on the Line: Why 911 Is Broken." The series earned the Atlanta journalist a 2016 Peabody, and motivated at least one state agency – the Minnesota Department of Public Safety – to educate residents regarding the challenges facing its 911 systems.
Keefe was inspired to launch his far-reaching investigation following the tragic death of Shanell Anderson, who drowned when her SUV skidded into a pond and the 911 dispatcher had trouble locating her. Emergency responders took 20 minutes to arrive on scene, by which time it was too late to save Anderson. Keefe's investigation also revealed that AT&T's network revealed her location within just 33 seconds, but neither the dispatcher nor at AT&T operator could see that data.
Following the Last Week Tonight segment, Keefe tweeted not only his thanks to HBO for the coverage, but also reaffirmed LaaSer as today's best solution to this crisis.
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