In this Presentation Theater session, Mark Reddish, APCO’s senior counsel and manager of government relations, shared a few of the challenges and concerns regarding apps in the public safety industry. Misleading claims from app developers abound and include statements such as: the app can pinpoint user locations, it is certified, it can communicate directly with first responders and it is better than 9-1-1. To combat these misleading claims and help establish a standard for these emerging technologies, APCO has published its Key Attributes, which describe what needs to be considered for a successful mobile app to contact 9-1-1.
On April 27, APCO published a fact sheet and white paper on mobile apps and 9-1-1. It is intended to educate the public and stakeholders in the app development community on the state of 9-1-1 apps. There’s currently “no standard for 9-1-1 apps, so there can’t be interoperability,” Reddish said.
APCO’s Jay English, director of communications center and 9-1-1 services for APCO, added: “Apps are a key part of what we are doing in public safety, but we aren’t there yet.”