Posts tagged 911

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This is an emergency! Quick, get a video of this!

by Trish Fontanilla, Community Manager at Vsnap

Earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes, oh my! The east coast had an unprecedented week. Rough winds and trees knocked down power lines and parts of Vsnap’s home city [Boston] went dark this weekend. I saw people use their cell phones to send out text messages, Facebook updates, and tweets to report conditions and general craziness.  

Now as a startup, you’re always asked, “What customer pain are you solving?”. I can definitely see how Vsnap is doing that (and can talk about it for hours), but I never thought of video messaging as a means to relieve actual physical pain. I had tweeted early on in the week that people should send vsnaps to friends and family to check in or even to a landlord to report property damage. But what if people started sending emergency video messages instead of calling 911? Someone could take a quick video of an injury sustained in an accident, even add a GPS tag. The operator could then respond with a short video message of how and where to apply pressure on a wound. And the dispatched crew could grab any other equipment or supplies needed based on the injured person’s video. 

I quickly realized that my thinking wasn’t too out there when I found an article about Palm Beach County’s 911 system going digital. In the piece they mention, Next Generation 911, a national initiative to have the 911 experience be more mobile friendly, followed by a quote from Trey Goerty, spokesman for the National Emergency Number Association. He said that “more than 70 percent of 911 calls now come from wireless devices”. The article also mentions how helpful an emergency video/text system could be for the city’s deaf population. 

The tools are being developed and 911 call centers are being updated nationwide. Vsnap is now building apps for iPhone and Droid. Why not, in a way, better the experience? Would you send a video to 911?

Filed under emergency video messages trish blogs video sharing vsnap 911