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Believe it or not! A mobile app from a law enforcement technology firm could soon allow emergency responders from different agencies to communicate with each other in a crisis for the first time, sharing files and conducting impromptu conference calls.
Communications breakdowns hampered responses to the September 11, 2001 attack in New York and disasters including 2012′s Superstorm Sandy.
BlueLine Grid’s applications target has tried to get rid of one of the most vexing challenges facing US law enforcement and emergency responders.
BlueLine Grid is a law enforcement technology firm co-founded by New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton in 2013, who since cut ties to the company to avoid conflicts of interest before returning to the NYPD in January.
The app ells you who is near you, who can help you and allows you to communicate effectively with them.
But there is a drawback. The app relies on wireless connectivity it could fail during a disaster, so it is intended to supplement and not replace traditional emergency communication.
The app works on devices running on Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating system.
The app would be the first to connect individual responders working in the field, using common standards shared in Android and iOS to enable communications between police, fire and other agencies in different jurisdictions.
BlueLine Grid uses similar technology to Skype which is known as over-the-top (OTT) voice and messaging, meaning the services run on top of the wireless network, to solve the problem of interoperability.
Experts say that developing better communications systems is one of the key challenges in ongoing efforts to improve security preparedness.