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Maui County 911 Center Honored with Superstar Award for Heroic Efforts with Radius During Hawaii Fires - Proving That Telecommunicators are the “First” First Responders | Maui, HI

AUSTIN, Texas (April 16, 2024) - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – RapidDeploy, the leading cloud-native solution provider for public safety, has proudly awarded Maui County 911 with the prestigious RapidDeploy Superstar Award in recognition of their exceptional performance during the wildfires that devastated Maui on August 8, 2023.

Maui County telecommunicators played a pivotal role in responding to the catastrophic fires, answering over 4,500 calls in a single day, nearly triple the usual volume. Despite the immense pressure and uncertainty, the telecommunicators remained steadfast in their commitment to public safety, guiding community members to safety and coordinating an exceptional emergency response effort.

"The Maui County team demonstrated extraordinary courage and dedication during one of the most challenging disasters in recent history," said Steve Raucher, RapidDeploy CEO and co-founder. "Their selfless actions and tireless efforts saved lives and protected the community during a time of crisis."

RapidDeploy's Next Generation 911 (NG911) technology empowers telecommunicators with advanced tools and capabilities, including access to precise caller locations, text messaging with callers, and the ability to initiate video calls. The innovative features of RapidDeploy's Radius Mapping technology played a critical role in supporting Maui County telecommunicators during the wildfires, enabling them to coordinate resources and deliver life-saving assistance efficiently.

"We're proud to honor the Maui County team for their heroic actions and unwavering commitment to public safety," added Raucher. "Their exemplary service sets a standard of excellence for emergency response nationwide."

The Superstar Award reflects RapidDeploy's ongoing commitment to recognize first responders' extraordinary efforts and highlight innovative technology's impact on emergency response. By showcasing real-life examples of heroism and the capabilities of RapidDeploy's NG911 solutions, RapidDeploy aims to inspire and empower first responders with access to mission-critical data to drive faster, more effective emergency responses.

Maui Police Department Chief John Pelletier expressed his gratitude for the award and its potential impact on recruitment efforts, stating, "Awards like this showcase the vital role of telecommunicators and help attract top talent to our department. We're proud to recognize our telecommunicators as the true heroes they are."

RapidDeploy has shared a video capturing this Superstar Award story and ceremony here. For more information about RapidDeploy and its technology solutions for public safety, visit www.rapiddeploy.com.

About RapidDeploy:

Founded in 2016, and based in Austin, TX, RapidDeploy is the leading cloud-native platform for public safety. We provide Next Generation 911 solutions that deliver intelligent information throughout the emergency response journey, empowering agencies and first responders to drive better outcomes in mission-critical situations. With a curated partner network, our platform combines mobile signals, critical datasets, and call information into a single operating system, improving emergency response with location accuracy, situational awareness, modern communications, and actionable insights. Our products improve outcomes and ultimately save lives. In 2024, RapidDeploy earned recognition for the 7th year in a row as a prominent company to watch on the GovTech 100 list, and as a winner on Fast Company’s 2024 Most Innovative Company list. Learn more at www.rapiddeploy.com.

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Celebrating Life-Saving Moments with RapidDeploy's NG911 Radius Mapping Technology in Florida and Arizona | FL & AZ
Florida, FL; Arizona, AZ; Radius Mapping

At RapidDeploy, every year we receive hundreds of save stories from our customers, sharing with us how telecommunicators, field responders and 911 agencies are using our Next Generation 911 technology to aid in emergency situations, and how these technologies played a crucial role in their emergency responses.  

In this blog post, we want to highlight some recent examples of save stories that showcase the profound impact of collaboration, precision, and advanced technology in saving lives. Here, we highlight four remarkable incidents from Florida and Arizona, demonstrating how RapidDeploy aids in these critical moments.

1. Cross-County Collaboration Saves Child in Florida

In a tense situation where every moment matters, RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping was instrumental in rescuing a child who had sustained a head injury. The incident began with a misrouted call from a cell phone, reporting that a child had fallen into a pool. Despite losing the connection and failing to re-establish contact after two attempts, the telecommunicator from Santa Rosa County, Florida, utilized RapidLocate, RapidDeploy’s proprietary location technology, to pinpoint the caller’s location within Radius Mapping, and trace the call's origin—surprisingly nearly 100 miles away in Bay County!

The Challenge of Misrouted Calls
Misrouted calls present a unique challenge in emergency response. Often, cell phone calls connect to a cell tower that might not accurately reflect the caller's actual location, which can mislead responders into deploying resources to an incorrect area. This can have severe consequences in time-sensitive situations where minutes, or even seconds, count.

In this instance, the telecommunicator leveraged RapidDeploy's Radius Mapping to quickly identify that the call originated outside of Santa Rosa County's jurisdiction. By identifying the exact location in Bay County, the telecommunicator immediately alerted emergency response counterparts in that region.

Coordinated Response Across County Lines
Upon arrival at the scene, the emergency response teams discovered the child had fallen beside the pool and struck her head, contradicting the original report that the child had fallen in the pool. The response teams provided immediate care, ensuring the child received treatment in time.

Scott Markel, Communications Chief of Santa Rosa County Emergency Management Communications Center, reflected on how this technology played a pivotal role in expediting the response to prevent a tragic outcome, and applauded his team’s efforts:

"I commend my team for the quick-thinking and use of the RapidDeploy platform, which allowed us to swiftly redirect the call to the appropriate agency and coordinate a multi-agency prompt response."

A Lesson in Interagency Collaboration
This precise location tracking enabled a well-coordinated response between the Santa Rosa and Bay County emergency teams, leading to the successful discovery and treatment of the child. This situation emphasizes the importance of NG911 technology and demonstrates how crucial information can cross county boundaries to facilitate an emergency response. RapidDeploy technology effectively serves as a bridge that allows different agencies to collaborate seamlessly.

2. Arizona's Quick Response to Offroad Accident

From the deserts of Arizona, another success story emerges involving two teenagers in a dirt bike accident. The call, initially received by the Colorado River Indian Tribes Police Department (CRIT PD), was transferred to the La Paz Sheriff’s Department. However, the caller provided inconsistent location information, making it challenging for the emergency responders to pinpoint the accident site.

Unreliable Caller Information in Remote Regions
In rural and remote regions, callers often struggle to describe their exact location due to the absence of clear landmarks. This poses a significant challenge for telecommunicators who must rely on technology to gather accurate location data.

Aurora Wilson, a telecommunicator at the La Paz Sheriff’s Department, quickly consulted the Radius Mapping platform. She identified two cell signals in the Parker area, one of which appeared in a desert near the Lazy D Mobile Home Park. She shared the GPS coordinates with the responding units and confirmed the location with the CRIT PD responders.

Seamless and Accurate Emergency Response
This accuracy expedited the arrival of emergency teams, and they were able to find the accident site quickly. One of the teenagers had suffered multiple injuries and was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for further treatment. The coordinated response across multiple agencies minimized delays, ensuring both teenagers received the necessary medical attention.

Wilson emphasized the importance of RapidDeploy’s platform:

“Had I not been able to utilize the RapidDeploy system, the response would/could have been further delayed. I use this system religiously when checking on my shift. It has multiple tools that make it almost effortless to locate a person in need of Law Enforcement, Medical, and Fire responders.”

Leveraging Technology to Save Lives
The seamless coordination between multiple agencies and the utilization of RapidDeploy ensured an effective rescue, showcasing the power of teamwork and technology in emergency management. This incident also highlights the importance of real-time data sharing between telecommunicators and field responders. With tools like RapidDeploy, telecommunicators can provide first responders with accurate GPS coordinates, increasing the chances of locating the injured quickly.

3. Desert Rescue Through Precision Mapping

The vast and treacherous terrains of Arizona’s deserts pose unique challenges, as illustrated by a distress call about a man suffering from heat-related issues. The Rural Metro telecommunicator, unfamiliar with the area and receiving inconsistent location details from the caller, provided different landmarks to responders heading to the scene.  

Challenges of Heat-Related Emergencies in Deserts
Desert rescues are particularly challenging due to the vast, featureless landscapes and extreme temperatures that can quickly become life-threatening. In this instance, the caller was disoriented due to the heat and provided the dispatcher with unclear information, making it difficult to identify the exact location.

To pinpoint the exact location, the telecommunicator at Phoenix Fire Department 911 used the RapidDeploy system to send a request link via text message to the caller. The caller accepted the link, which shared his exact GPS location. Using the map, the telecommunicator measured the distance from the main road to determine the best route for emergency responders.

Precision Mapping for Accurate Response
The team dispatched first responders to the coordinates and guided them directly to the caller, who was transported to the nearest hospital for treatment. The quick-thinking and rapid response facilitated by RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping solution may have saved the man's life. This is a testament to the effectiveness of RapidDeploy’s NG911 solutions in delivering life-saving assistance where and when it's most needed.

Jim Frazier, Fire Communications Administrator, Phoenix Fire Department added:

"Using RapidDeploy's Radius Mapping in emergencies saves valuable time and lives."

Technology Transforming Desert Rescue Operations
In the absence of precise landmarks, RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping solution allows telecommunicators to analyze the topography and features of the landscape accurately. This capability ensures emergency teams reach the exact location, even in the most challenging terrains. The incident showcases how RapidDeploy empowers telecommunicators with tools that make a significant difference in emergency outcomes.

4. Real-Time Rescue in the Arizona Wilderness

The Valley Emergency Communications Center (VECC) faced a challenging scenario on May 1, 2024. They received a call from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office regarding an injured 28-year-old hiker with a possible broken leg in the wilderness. The VECC team immediately opened a call in RapidDeploy's Radius Mapping and gathered vital information like medical details, name, and emergency contact information from the cell provider.

SMS Communication Reassures and Informs
The VECC telecommunicators initiated a conversation with the victim and her companion via SMS, using text-from-911. This allowed them to provide immediate reassurance that help was on the way while also collecting crucial information about the victim's condition and location. They were able to precisely identify the victim’s location and follow movements down the trail to find a shadier spot.

Establishing an Effective Rescue Plan
The VECC dispatchers relayed this live information to the responding crews. The incident commander used it to establish a detailed rescue plan, with rescue crews entering the trail and locating the calling party just over two miles up the trail. With a clear strategy and live data from RapidLocate, the teams efficiently transformed actionable information into a life-saving encounter.

Jason Moore, Deputy Chief - Director of the Valley Emergency Communications Center, emphasized the significance of RapidLocate in the rescue operation:

"RapidLocate proved extremely useful in obtaining actionable information very early on in the emergency, and aided in responders making critical decisions to support locating and rescuing the victim."

RapidDeploy’s technology played a crucial role in helping the teams make informed decisions early in the emergency, aiding in finding and rescuing the victim. This story is just one example of how teamwork and technology can come together to transform an urgent call for help into a successful rescue mission.

Join Us in Celebrating These Heroes

Every call that turns into a save story is a testament to the courage of telecommunicators and first responders alike, and the efficacy of RapidDeploy. We are committed to enhancing the capabilities of emergency services with our cutting-edge solutions, ensuring that when disaster strikes, help is just a call away.

These save stories are great examples of how RapidDeploy technology is helping emergency agencies across the country improve their response times and outcomes, ultimately saving more lives. We invite you to share your own experiences and how technology has aided you in critical moments. Visit us at RapidDeploy to learn more about our technology and share your story. Through these stories of resilience and innovation, RapidDeploy continues to be inspired in our commitment to public safety. Whether it's cross-county collaboration or navigating vast deserts, NG911 solutions prove to be the linchpin that connects telecommunicators and first responders in their life-saving mission. By leveraging advanced tools like Radius Mapping, emergency teams can collaborate seamlessly and provide accurate responses that reduce critical delays.

These stories reaffirm the transformative power of technology in emergency response. At RapidDeploy, we are dedicated to providing emergency agencies with the most advanced tools and technology so that every moment makes a difference.

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