Updated: Today at 8:13 PM
Comment: I'm not counting, but there have been at least 10 high profile incidents in the past year where application of 9-1-1 technology has failed our nation (typically, with fatal results). Dispatchers typing in the wrong address, callers giving the wrong address, Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems unable to find an address, CAD systems auto-filling the wrong address, and so on. And the incidents have not been isolated - indeed they have been spread across the country: Atlanta, Maine, St Louis, Denver, Ohio, Florida, California, Tucson, and Pennsylvania - to name a few. The irony of the situation is that units of government will spend MILLIONS of dollars to install the latest and greatest CAD system in hopes of shaving seconds off response times, yet the "new" system will inherently have the same basic flaw as the old system - something that can cause errors in minutes - reliance on an ADDRESS driven exchange of information. There is a better way to communicate location for emergency response situations. One that is free and endorsed by FEMA, the National Search and Rescue Committee, and the Federal Geographic Data Committee - the U.S. National Grid (USNG). Sadly, within the emergency services sector, very few have embraced the approach. For example, a recent Needs Assessment by the National Fire Protection Association found that less than 2% of the nation's fire departments were using USNG in their operations.
Hopefully, the light bulb will finally come on for the 9-1-1/emergency services sector before the carnage goes much further. In that regard, Minnesota has made significant progress but still has a long way to go.