The underlying problem with 9-1-1
Rescuers can't help citizens if they can't locate them
In some major cities and jurisdictions, 85 percent of 9-1-1 datasets were found to have some degree of error.
This alarming rate was revealed in a 2011 report from the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council. In addition, a review of 50 recent data validation reports from across the country uncovered errors or omissions in more than 70 percent of 9-1-1 datasets. The vast majority of citizens in these areas may not be located quickly - or perhaps at all - when they are in need of emergency services.
Ohio found a solution by building a better map.
Ohio recognized this troubling problem with 9-1-1 mapping and developed a solution that was hailed as a best practice by the U.S. Department of Transportation in its 2011 Transportation for the Nation strategic plan. It's called the Location Based Response System (LBRS) and it is saving lives as well as taxpayer dollars every day in the Buckeye State.
"There are a lot of mapping systems out there that will guess what an address is instead of field verifying it," says Kim Hambel, Communications Supervisor for the Muskingum County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office, whose county now uses field-verified map data. "When a life is on the line, I don't want to guess, I want an accurate location of where that address is at."
What makes Ohio's system so impressive is the field verification of every address – versus traditional geocoding along street centerlines with address ranges – that goes into building the map. Field verification allows for precise plotting of residential and commercial structures to within +/- 1 meter, and makes note of address anomalies and road obstructions that could otherwise slow first responders.
"With LBRS, we have literally been able to cut minutes off the arrival time of responders because of our ability to give better directions, said Monte Diegel, 9-1-1 Administrator for the Mercer County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office.
The LBRS has put Ohio in a position to be well ahead of the pack in complying with Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) efforts. Imagine everyone updating, maintaining, and using GIS map data that is constantly made available to everyone in a near real time environment. It's a proven solution that works.