Zetron yesterday announced results from a pilot project using integrated location information from partner RapidSOS to deliver significantly better caller-location data quickly to public-safety answering points (PSAPs) receiving emergency calls.

Conducted in conjunction with six Tennessee PSAPs and the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, the pilot leveraged the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse location information server (LIS) and additional data repository (ADR) that was integrated with Zetron’s NG911 MAX Call Taking solution. During the pilot, 97% of call locations provided through the RapidSOS-Zetron integration were within 50 meters of the actual location of the test caller, while only 44% of calls utilizing traditional ALI data met this accuracy threshold mandated by the FCC.

In addition, the RapidSOS-based offering provided its location information to call-takers much quicker than traditional 911 solutions, according to Luiz Melchert, Zetron sales engineer.

“With [E911] Phase II, it takes a number of seconds to get to [an estimated location],” Melchert said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “But with RapidSOS, it is available even before Phase II and even more accurate than Phase II.

“So, these are two pretty big improvements for the life of a call-taker.”

Curtis Sutton, executive director of Tennessee’s Emergency Communications Board, echoed this sentiment.

“This is life-saving technology,” Sutton said in prepared statement. “We can actually find somebody in seconds, rather than waiting until we can narrow that field down to the location that’s provided by the traditional methods. I haven’t seen a group of PSAPs more excited about testing something than they have this technology because they realize the value of it.”

Reinhard Ekl, vice president of product development for public safety at RapidSOS, said the pilot project in Tennessee was a crucial step in the development of his company’s development of the 911 location product, which is being utilized with multiple partners in the public-safety and commercial-wireless ecosystems.

“The pilot project was conducted with end-to-end tests with live 911 calls,” Ekl said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We really stress-tested the system and tried to understand not just the speed and accuracy of location, but also the user experience for the call-takers and dispatchers and how they need to receive the data, so it makes a difference in the day-to-day answering of 911 calls.

“To have the state of Tennessee Emergency Communications Board and different agencies—a mix of rural and urban, and a mix of small and large—involved, helping us test out technology before it was mature was really instrumental in learning how to do this at scale and do it in a way that works for public safety … We learned a ton in this pilot.”