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Blog // Connect Michigan

Public Safety Apps – Revolutionary Tools for First Responders, Mobile Resources for You

By Wil Payton

Public safety communications is in an evolutionary stage due to implementation of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) nationwide network and Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems. These systems will facilitate the integration of new applications that will become core components of emergency response strategies. A byproduct of these emerging technologies is apps that can be created to enhance public safety communications systems.

The following is an excerpt from an Association of Public Safety Officials (APCO) position paper on public safety app development:

Apps on a dedicated public safety broadband network, and in conjunction with NG9-1-1 call centers, will significantly advance the ability of public safety users to communicate with each other and with the general public.

Mobile apps will also improve the efficiency of first responders, allowing them to complete tasks in the field that would otherwise require a trip back to central command. Public safety-specific apps will also provide first responders with access to content-rich information, which will improve incident response.

Apps will leverage the collective knowledge and experience of both the public at large and public safety professionals in ways never before possible, advancing the capabilities of the entire first responder community.

The White House has developed Safety.Data.Gov, a website that promotes a myriad of mobile and web public safety apps that range from Chemical Hazard Emergency Management to a Child Safety Seat Inspection Station Locator.

It probably wouldn’t be the first place you would look, but even iTunes has public safety apps. An example is one created by FEMA that provides information for different types of disasters and provides an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations, and more.

If you are curious check out this link to 15 Disaster and Crisis Apps for iPhone and iPad. Don’t use Apple? Then here are a few more smartphone links.

Be sure to follow Connect Michigan on Facebook and Twitter for more articles on how technology impacts your life!

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