Minnesota Agencies Use FirstWatch Situational Awareness (8/21/12)
The Minneapolis Emergency Communication Center and the Hennepin EMS Emergency Communication Center in Minnesota deployed a system from FirstWatch that monitors every 911 call in real-time.
The FirstWatch Real-Time Situational Awareness System allows communications center, police and EMS staff to monitor every aspect of a 9-1-1 call and emergency response as it unfolds, including:
• How long it takes for 911 operators to process calls;
• How long dispatchers take to send police or an ambulance;
• How long until responders arrive on scene;
• How long until that ambulance or police vehicle is back in service and ready to respond to another emergency.
"If a response takes too long, command staff can act on the problem immediately," said Chris Kummer, EMS manager for Hennepin Emergency Medical Services, which dispatches ambulances for the city of Minneapolis and other municipalities in Hennepin County. "The number one benefit of FirstWatch is real-time information, right at my fingertips. I can monitor the health of things throughout our system at any given moment on my desk top, at home or in the field."
By integrating with the 911 system, FirstWatch can also track and spot emerging threats such as pandemic flu, heat-related injuries or mass casualty crises.
The city of Minneapolis funded the FirstWatch deployment with a $240,000 Urban Areas Security Initiative grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
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