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RapidDeploy Enables Emergency Response to School Shooting Threats in Carter County, Tennessee

Nestled at the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, Carter County, Tennessee, boasts a population of over 50,000 residents. Responsible for managing emergency calls from the local area, the Carter County Emergency Communications District 911 (TN) plays a pivotal role in ensuring public safety. In July 2023, the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board allocated funds to integrate Radius Mapping into Carter County 911’s infrastructure.

Radius Mapping provides telecommunicators in Carter County with indispensable support and functionality previously unavailable to them. The platform's rapid, precise location tracking features empower dispatchers to visualize a caller’s position on a map of the local area in real-time. Accurate location data is paramount for deploying emergency response resources, particularly in scenarios where callers fail to provide precise addresses or when threats span multiple jurisdictions.

RapidDeploy Offers Crucial Call-Mapping Functionality

The real test of this technology came in February 2024 when telecommunicators utilized it to pinpoint a series of brief 911 calls, one of which included a shooting threat directed at a local school. Just months after the installation of Radius Mapping, the platform proved its worth in a critical emergency communications event. On February 1, 2024, telecommunicators received a call from a 911-only phone—a device that typically cannot receive calls, even from emergency officials. The caller reported a threat of violence but disconnected abruptly, providing an address outside Carter County 911’s jurisdiction. Radius mapped the call to cell towers near the county border, initiating collaboration with neighboring jurisdictions.

Location Tracking Facilitates Fast, Accurate Emergency Response

Approximately 25 minutes later, another call from the same device hinted at a shooting threat directed at the local school system. With Radius Mapping, telecommunicators swiftly identified the caller’s location at Happy Valley High School. Immediate action followed the precise identification of the caller’s location. School resource officers and patrol officers from adjacent jurisdictions were promptly notified, leading to a comprehensive lockdown and search across multiple schools in the vicinity.

Through the utilization of 911 call recordings and Radius Mapping data, authorities swiftly apprehended three juveniles, each charged with threatening mass violence on school property and false reporting.

The case of Carter County exemplifies how innovative technology like RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping can revolutionize emergency response, ensuring swift, targeted action in critical situations. By harnessing the power of technology, communities can bolster their resilience and protect lives in the face of adversity.

The Power of Mass Notification, Incident Management, and PSAP Connectivity

Consolidating Emergency Response Tools

When an emergency strikes, communication is key. Being able to reach the right people with the right information as quickly as possible can help deliver an effective and efficient response. While many organizations have multiple tools to address specific components of an emergency, this can often lead to unforeseen issues. The more tools an organization has, the more time-consuming it can be to activate each component, slowing down the response process. It also creates additional steps, making it more likely that a step gets missed, which could have critical consequences if someone doesn’t receive information that impacts their safety.


Mass notification systems can offer organizations a solution though. With a wide range of technology integrations and incident management capabilities, organizations can consolidate systems, expand the reach of their messages, and respond to emergencies to help keep people out of harm’s way. This post will cover the benefits and capabilities of a mass notification system and how it can assist with incident management by connecting to public safety answering points (PSAPs).


The Benefits of Mass Notification

If an incident occurs, organizations can’t afford to have anyone miss a message, but they don’t always have the means to ensure that critical information reaches everyone quickly. Some rely on mass SMS text messaging, but text messages can be easy to ignore, and when every second matters, organizations need to be able to leverage alerts that emphasize the urgency of a situation. Mass notification systems can help organizations deliver intrusive text, audio, and visual messages to a wide range of on-site and mobile devices simultaneously, eliminating the need to manage and send messages from multiple sources. This helps keep messaging consistent to reduce confusion, helps messages reach everyone in an organization regardless of where they are or what they doing, and helps highlight the seriousness of an event by broadcasting messages across multiple channels. This helps people receive messages quickly and begin taking action so they can stay safe.


Mass notification systems also enable organizations to target messages to specific groups or areas. This could be sending an alert specifically to the security team, or to a particular floor or wing of a building impacted by an event. This gives organizations more control over who receives what messages without disrupting operations for everyone.


Incident Management Capabilities

Of course, alerting people is only one component of responding to an emergency. Once initial notifications have gone out, organizations need to be able to bring about a successful resolution. Mass notification systems can help organizations plan for and address every stage of an emergency. Messages can be prebuilt for any kind of incident an organization may experience as well as messages for each step of the process, from the first notification to the “all clear” that signals normal operations can resume. Organization scan also upload critical resources like safety checklists, floorplans, and more that can be accessed during an emergency to help with a response. Notification scan be sent to key stakeholders inviting them to join a virtual collaboration space or conference call, so they can assess the situation as it unfolds and determine the best response. Notifications can even be sent that ask recipients to respond to questions, helping gain real-time insights to understand who is safe and who still needs assistance. With a single solution for emergency alerting and management, organizations can streamline their response.


Extending Reach to PSAPs

All of these capabilities are helpful when handling an internal incident, but sometimes critical situations require outside assistance. That’s where being able to reach a PSAP via a mass notification system becomes vital. Internal teams can receive alerts at the same time as first responders, reducing response times so help is delivered as quickly as possible. Safety regulations like Alyssa’s Law are making this capability a must as it helps spread awareness about serious events and get relevant information into the hands of first responders so they can coordinate an effective response.


Singlewire Software and RapidDeploy Integration

Singlewire Software now offers integration between its InformaCast mass notification and incident management software and RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping platform to expand the reach of emergency messages directly to PSAPs. When InformaCast notifications are activated from tools like panic buttons, the notification will be delivered to local 911 agencies and can include location information about where the notification was activated, enhancing situational awareness, and expediting emergency response efforts.

As safety continues to be a priority for organizations across the country, having tools that work together and help with every stage of incident response become invaluable assets in keeping people safe.

Enhancing School Safety: Announcing RapidDeploy and Raptor Technologies Partnership to Streamline Emergency Response

The RapidDeploy team is proud to announce a pivotal integration between RapidDeploy and Raptor Technologies, a leading panic button provider for school safety, with integrated solutions for schools to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from any emergency.  With a legacy spanning over two decades, Raptor Technologies has been at the forefront of school safety, providing comprehensive software solutions that ensure the welfare of students and staff. In this new era of heightened security for schools across the United States, this partnership supports our commitment to safeguard children, schools and first responders with cutting-edge and innovative technology.

A Timely Alliance for Safety

Unfortunately, we are living in a time of increased threats to our schools where the landscape of challenges continues to evolve for educational institutions. By incorporating Raptor’s panic button alert system into our Next Gen 911 solutions, we are setting a new standard for emergency response times and efficiency.

Through this partnership, when a panic alert is activated within a school, critical emergency response data is instantly channeled to the appropriate 911 agencies through RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping platform. Details such as the incident’s nature, the school's name, location coordinates and the initiator's contact information are shared—all within seconds.  This critical information is quickly and effectively communicated to first responders, providing help for those in need.

The Value of Our Partnership to Emergency Response Teams

RapidDeploy's partnership with Raptor Technologies provides PSAP’s a single pane of glass to visualize panic button events, geo-referenced to an agency's authoritative GIS data, along with:

·      Location of mobile callers while in motion

·      Plots of indoor floor plans

·      Situational awareness data such as aerial imagery

·      CCTV camera feeds to provide a comprehensive view of resources and the situation

Instant notifications and specific sound alerts within Radius ensure that responders are promptly alerted to Raptor panic button signals, even if their mobile devices are on silent mode. The integration also sends alerts based on location, which allows seamless switching between buildings or campuses without the need for reconfiguration, further streamlining emergency response operations.

By integrating Raptor Alert with Radius Mapping, our direct connection ensures that mission-critical data from Raptor Alert is delivered directly toECCs through RapidDeploy's Radius Mapping solution, enabling faster and more effective emergency response efforts. Raptor data will also be seamlessly integrated with RapidDeploy’s Lightning, our Next Gen 911 mobile app for field responders. This means that whether in the control room or on the ground, responders will have immediate access to vital information via their devices.

Legislative Support and Broader Impact

Our partnership with Raptor Technologies aligns with Alyssa's Law, critical legislation addressing the issue of law enforcement response time when a life-threatening emergency occurs, and drives a new safety standard in schools that supports the widespread adoption of panic button technology. As a result of legislative mandates, federal and state funding for school safety related products and services are available and becoming more readily accessible, ensuring schools are equipped to act quickly in emergencies, from lockdowns to evacuations.

Together, We Make a Difference

With this partnership announcement, we aim to empower faster and more effective emergency response and provide ECCs, telecommunicators and first responders with fast and accurate critical information to protect lives during school-related emergencies. For every student, teacher and parent, we're not just offering a solution, we’re moving towards a future where safety comes first, every time. When it comes to our schools and the people in them, every moment matters, and so does our response.

To learn more about how RapidDeploy and Raptor Technologies are revolutionizing school safety check out the full press release.

RapidDeploy Recognized on the Prestigious 2024 GovTech 100

We are happy to announce that RapidDeploy has once again made it to the esteemed GovTech 100 list for 2024. This marks our sixth consecutive year of being recognized among the top 100 technology companies dedicated to making a significant impact in government technology.  

The GovTech 100, now in its 9th year, is an annual list that highlights the most innovative companies in the government tech space.

The inclusion in this list is more than just a recognition—it's a testament to our commitment to transforming emergency response, and to delivering cutting-edge solutions to the public safety community.

2024 is poised to be a landmark year in the government technology space with new innovation supporting data sharing initiatives, advancements in location precision and GIS, along with the extension of Next Gen 911 into the field via mobile applications.

As we embark on a new year, we look forward to collaborating with our customers and partners to transform public safety and ensure that 911 agencies across the nation have access to the information they need to save lives and improve emergency response.  

Read more about the 2024 GovTech 100 here.

Transforming 911: RapidDeploy's Journey to Next Gen Solutions

RapidDeploy’s CEO, Steve Raucher, was interviewed at APCO 2023 about the history of 911 and the future of Next Gen 911 (NG911) solutions such as the Lightning app, which puts mission-critical information directly in the hands of field responders.  

Steve’s interview dives into RapidDeploy’s journey and highlights how Lightning focuses on responder and officer safety, leveraging strategic partners and the power of a mobile network to accelerate and improve incident response.

Find out more about Lightning and listen to the full interview here:

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2023 RapidDeploy Superstar Award Celebrates Heroes in Emergency Response

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.

Walton County Sheriff's Office, Florida
Heather Mayo’s heroic act leveraging live video, real-time location tracking, and mobile signals to rescue a man who fell overboard

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.  

Riverside County Sheriff's Office, California

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.

Join Us in Celebrating Our Heroes

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:

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