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How the Emergency Services are Embracing New Technologies

1st, September 2020

Serving at the front line, our emergency services are on hand by conveniently calling one single phone number. Even the process of contacting them is faster and easier than it was just 30 years ago. Remember the days when you had to go and find a phone box to make an emergency call or knock on a door to see if you could use a landline (if they had one of course). The invention of mobile phones means that we can inform our emergency services wherever we are.

Technology is also helping our emergency services in a variety of ways that we could have never dreamed of not that long ago.

The use of drones in emergency response is on the rise. The ability to view a situation without having to put lives at risk is increasing their popularity. They have been used in a variety of emergency response situations, particularly when it would be difficult or dangerous for a vehicle or people to enter an area without first assessing the situation further.

Fire brigades have begun using drones to get a bird's eye view of an environment before they enter to determine the situation. Before, helicopters would have fulfilled a similar role, but the use of helicopters is expensive, and they are usually not readily available. Drones on the other hand allow for the collection of information quickly and easily, and it's possible to have several more of them available compared to helicopters.

Using drones improves safety, saves time, and saves money too, as well as making it easier to access tight spaces where other methods would be unable to reach. Drones are developing to become even more useful to emergency response teams, with benefits such as GPS technology and even being fully waterproof. During a major hostage negotiation even, drones are useful in monitoring the situation from a whole new view.

A number of police forces are using new location technology developed by British tech company what3words, which divides the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares, and identifies each square with a unique 3 words address, to help respond to incidents, stop attacks and potentially help to save lives. So far, the system has already been used to effectively locate a hostage who didn’t know where they were, respond to rural road accidents and find a lost child.

Virtual reality can offer remote assistance to emergency response teams, as well as use visualisation techniques to make instructions clearer. Virtual reality could combine computer systems in emergency response vehicles and wearable technology, so that response teams are able to work closely with each other on the scene and in remote locations too.

Technological advancements offer a multitude of solutions that we could only have ever imagine a few years ago. As they are adopted, we are sure to see a decrease in crime, loss of lives and missing persons. This can only be a positive step and at Workspace Technology we are here to assist the emergency services to ensure that they have a reliable and cost-effective mission critical IT infrastructure to support these technologies.

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