This year, we were thrilled to introduce the RapidDeploy Superstar Award, recognizing extraordinary individuals who have significantly impacted lives by leveraging Next Gen 911 technology.
This award specifically honors. heroes from ECCs and PSAPs nationwide that have effectively utilized RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping solution in a life-saving emergency incident.
Heather Mayo, the first Superstar awardee, was recognized in August 2023 for her exceptional use of RapidDeploy's technology during a critical emergency.
Using precise caller location combined with RapidVideo and location tracking, Heather and her team at Walton County Sheriff’s Office orchestrated a rescue operation, saving the life of a man who had fallen overboard and drifted far away from this boat. Heather was able to communicate with the caller (his wife) and used live video to help her restart the engine and find her husband in the bay.
Meghan Gonzalez leveraged real-time text messaging and location tracking to coordinate the effective rescue of a kidnapping victim
Meghan Gonzalez was awarded RapidDeploy’s Superstar award in October 2023, after displaying remarkable quick thinking during a terrifying kidnapping incident. Meghan quickly realized the caller was not able to speak and initiated a text conversation, enabling Meghan to obtain her location, track her movements in real-time, and gather crucial information—all powered by Radius Mapping. Her actions underscored the invaluable role that Next Gen 911 technology plays in responding to emergencies, leading to the victim's safe recovery and the apprehension of the suspect.
Meghan and Heather’s stories inspire us and highlight the significant, life-saving role that these heroes play everyday. We are honored that RapidDeploy can support first responders, within the ECC/PSAP and in the field with critical data and applications.
💬 We welcome your stories of how RapidDeploy has impacted your community. Share your experiences and help us spotlight more heroes: https://rapiddeploy.com/save-stories
RapidDeploy honors Communications Officer II Meghan Gonzalez for her heroic efforts and incredible use of RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping to rescue a victim in Riverside County California.
In the line of duty, when every moment matters, the combination of intuition, expertise, and technology can make all the difference. This narrative isn’t just another tale of exceptional dedication; it’s a testament to the impact that Next Generation 911 and today’s telecommunicators have on impacting emergency response outcomes.
The Night of the Call
On May 2, 2023, Communications Officer II Meghan Gonzalez of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office received an open line 911 call. All she could hear were faint shuffles and the dinging of a car door.
Many would have dismissed this as an accidental dial, but Meghan’s intuition told her otherwise. RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping solution is used daily throughout hundreds of 911 call centers in California and played a vital role in helping Meghan effectively locate and communicate with a distressed caller during a life-threatening situation.
Power of Technology
Whether it’s real-time location signals, text communication (with translation in over 70 languages), or live video – Radius Mapping delivers critical real-time information and supports modern communication for all 911 calls.
Without hesitation, Meghan took action, leveraging Radius Mapping to locate the caller, track her whereabouts and initiate 2-way text, which helped gather the critical intelligence needed to successfully dispatch and rescue the victim.
In a race against time, Meghan initiated a priority 1 response, guiding law enforcement to the victim’s GPS coordinates obtained from Radius Mapping.
Simultaneously, as field responders made their way to the scene, Meghan maintained live text communication with the victim, who shared that she was in the trunk of a vehicle and provided details about the suspect.
These critical details lead to a successful life-saving emergency response. The victim was saved, and the suspect was arrested.
Here’s how text-from-911 works:
Text-to-911 allows a person in need of emergency assistance to receive a text message from a telecommunicator within the Emergency Communication Center (ECC). Two-way, real-time text has proven to be incredibly valuable for callers who may not be able to speak in an emergency such as:
With SMS, the Telecommunicator can track the caller’s location and effectively communicate, gathering information that enhances situational awareness and supports a more effective response.
Recognition for Excellence
On October 17th, RapidDeploy’s CEO and Co-founder, Steve Raucher, visited the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office to present Meghan with the RapidDepoy Superstar Award.
The Superstar Award recognizes heroes and individuals in emergency call centers and public safety answering points nationwide, by highlighting the 911 emergencies where RapidDeploy played a role in supporting a better outcome, from delivering the right mission-critical data to saving lives.
The quarterly award is reserved for those who make a life-saving impact, demonstrate exceptional use of RapidDeploy technology, and continue to enhance emergency response throughout their community.
RapidDeploy applauds Meghan for her dedication to life-saving work, unwavering intuition, and for harnessing the power of Radius Mapping to improve emergency outcomes.
Riverside County Sheriff’s Office is setting a great example of how Next Generation 911 solutions can make a life-saving difference.
Watch the video to hear directly from the team at Riverside County Sheriff’s Office:
In light of this year’s National First Responders Day, on October 28, 2023, RapidDeploy is proud to recognize every first responder, from the heroes on the headset, to the individuals in the field, for their service, commitment and life-saving actions.
Founded with a mission of saving lives by reducing response times, RapidDeploy is honored to support first responders with Next Generation 911 solutions that deliver intelligent information throughout the emergency response journey, empowering first responders to drive better outcomes in mission-critical situations.
RapidDeploy honored first responders with multiple activities:
Watch the video: See a special message, featuring first responders from our RapidDeploy community and celebrating the individuals that put their lives on the line everyday to keep us safe.
Share your life-saving story:
In honor of National First Responders Day, we officially launched our quarterly Superstar Award to recognize the outstanding contributions of first responders.
This award shines a light on individuals who have made a life-saving impact, demonstrate exceptional use of RapidDeploy technology, and continue to enhance emergency response throughout their community.
Among the inaugural awardees are Dispatcher Heather Mayo from Walton County Sheriff’s Office and Communications Officer II Meghan Gonzalez from California’s Riverside County Sheriff's Office. Our CEO, Steve Raucher, voiced his deep admiration for the recipients, underscoring their dedication to public safety and the amazing use of RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping, which resulted in saving lives.
Read the full Press release and find out how you can share your stories with RapidDeploy here.
Public education matters:
In collaboration with our long-standing customer NCT9-1-1, RapidDeploy is emphasizing the importance of Next Generation 9-1-1 solutions and offering key guidelines for calling 911 as part of a public education initiative.
In honor of National First Responders' Day, we've teamed up with NCT9-1-1 to highlight essential tips such as knowing your location, using diverse communication methods, and the significance of the Learn 9-1-1 application.
Our combined efforts aim to enhance emergency services for the North Central Texas community. Explore the tips and a save story featuring how a smartwatch played a role in saving a life and driving a successful emergency response outcome. Read the full press release here.
Last week, the RapidDeploy team joined thousands of public safety communications officials at the APCO 2023 conference in Nashville, TN. This four-day event covered public safety education, facilitated networking, new connections, and promoted learning about new innovations in 911.
During APCO, we sat down with clients and partners to learn about their experiences and gain insight into the topics and themes that they were most excited about.
During the keynote presentation, Mel Maier, Executive Director, APCO International, and Jeff Cohen Chief Counsel, and Director of Government Relations, APCO International, shared APCO’s vision for NG911 to be a transformative approach to emergency communication. This session highlighted critical factors impacting the future of NG911, including:
To support and drive education around this vision, APCO shared a comprehensive Definitive Guide to NG9-1-1. This tech-forward approach is like a superhero cape for emergency response – it's all about saving lives, which closely aligns with the mission of RapidDeploy.
APCO did a great job highlighting innovative approaches to solving staffing challenges. RapidDeploy's Steven Raucher and Todd Komanetsky, joined Jacob Saur, ECC Administrator Arlington County Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management, to present "Getting Creative with ECC Staffing and Working from Home."
Cloud-based solutions, including products from RapidDeploy, have emerged as a beacon of hope, enabling ECCs to streamline operations, support remote working locations and further improve the overall experience of telecommunicators.
Jacob shared how Alexandria’s 911 center has addressed remote call taking as a strategy for employee retention. Over the years, increasing workloads and the introduction of new tools have extended training times, with almost three years required for training at their center. Arlington ECC implemented 12 remote call-taking stations in dispatch and two in remote fire dispatch.
Key highlights of their approach include:
APCO’s conference featured crucial discussions on funding, resources, regulatory updates, and legislative initiatives impacting ECCs.
Resources, open minds, improved workflows, and operational change are essential for ECCs to deploy new technologies seamlessly.
One concept emerged quickly during this conference. . . No one can complete this transformation to NG911 alone.
Of course, it takes time and money, but it also requires people to build relationships and work together. In the session about FirstNet Integration and Resources: Enhancing Emergency Response, we learned there is potential synergy between NG911 and FirstNet, focusing on the integration of network solutions to improve emergency response. The 911 community will need to break out of silos and form partnerships like never before.
At RapidDeploy, we are focused on collaboration and bringing different parts of public safety together to create the most impactful next generation 911 ecosystem.
We just launched Lightning, a new mobile app for first responders that will help to break down agency siloes, interoperability, and the continued need for shared access to critical data.
Artificial intelligence often gets a bad rap in the media and among the public. However, the APCO exhibit hall was flooded with AI technology to support the jobs of telecommunicators and drive more effective and efficient emergency response.
There were solutions for non-emergency call handling, transcription services, and AI-language translation. There is potential for automation of repetitive tasks that will free up our telecommunicators to prioritize and spend time on the things that are most important when it comes to saving lives.