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9.11.23 – GOVTECH BIZ

RapidSOS and Emergency24 are the latest firms to offer real-time data to help first responders with emergencies in nonresidential buildings. Losses from fires in such structures have increased significantly since 2011.

The race to provide more real-time data to first responders speeding to calls continues, this time via a technology partnership that focuses on emergencies in commercial buildings.

RapidSOS, whose software connects dispatchers with responders, and Emergency24, which sells alarm monitoring services, have teamed up to send alarm signals for commercial fires more quickly and accurately, according to a statement.

These digital alerts mean emergency communications centers will receive real-time data from alarm monitoring centers, which can negate the need for a phone call.

According to the statement, the integration with Emergency24 results in data about the type of hazard and its severity and location within a non-residential building. Data travels directly from fire panel communicators to dispatchers and fire, police and medical personnel.

Tests for this partnership showed that the integrated technology can reduce what used to be a 2.5 minute call to a 13 second digital dispatch, according to Steve Mayer, vice president of operations at Emergency24, in the statement.

The partnership comes as non-residential fires in the U.S. increased 20 percent between 2011 and 2021, with fatalities growing by 70 percent, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, with that jump probably boosted by five reported “multifatality fire incidents” in 2021. Injuries, meanwhile, decreased by 31 percent.

Dollar losses from those non-residential fires during that period increased 21 percent, the agency said.

“The potential loss factor from a commercial building fire is exponential. Timing is of the essence in addressing these incidents,” said Edward Parkinson, president of public sector at RapidSOS, in the statement. “The partnership with Emergency24 connects ‘smart’ commercial fire systems with first responders.”

This new partnership comes just about a month after RapidSOS and Mark43, another public safety tech provider, teamed up to give dispatchers and responders more details about calls, an effort that involves Mark43 computer-aided dispatch tools.

Shortly before that, Honeywell, an investor in RapidSOS, announced the launch of a program designed to put firefighters in direct communication with fire, life safety and monitoring systems inside buildings. The effort includes a variety of public safety tech firms, including Emergency24.

The general idea is making sure that alarm and other emergency data flows directly from program participants to the Honeywell platform, which in turn enables first responders to access relevant information.