Residents in four Northeast Tarrant cities now have a new way to reach out for help in an emergency with the launch of a new mobile app.
Northeast Tarrant County Communications (NETCOM), the shared 911 center for Southlake, Colleyville, Keller and Westlake is the first 911 operations center in Texas to be equipped with this new technology--the SirenGPS mobile app, according to a news release.
The app, being called "Uber for 911," can be downloaded on smart-phones and gives dispatchers and emergency responders a much better location for emergency calls.
"The reality is Uber could find you faster and easier than traditional 911 because they use an app-based product with GPS technology, and that’s a huge problem when more than 80 percent of our calls are now coming from cell phones," NETCOM 911 Manager Warren Dudley said. "The beauty of this product is that it will run parallel to our traditional capabilities and improve our speed, accuracy and efficiency. It is going to revolutionize our ability to take care of our residents."
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Southlake Fire Chief Michael Starr said currently, first responders arrive at most emergency calls in 5 minutes and 33 seconds or less.
"This tool will be helpful for our first responders," Starr said. "Southlake residents and business owners should also be assured that regular calls to 911 will result with immediate service to people in need."
Southlake Police Chief James Brandon said the "safety of our residents and the protection of property is our top priority."
"We appreciate our partnership with NETCOM and the center’s support of the Southlake DPS mission," Brandon said.
Grapevine does not have plans to add SirenGPS just yet, but will be looking into a similar version in 2017, said Grapevine Police Capt. Mark Bills.
“We currently use CodeRed for emergency notification and RAVE for employee notification. We will be looking at RAVE’s version of the Siren GPS product,” Bills said. “We will evaluate them all later in 2017, after opening the Public Safety Building. We also want to see what new system Tarrant County 911 will be providing in our new facility before looking at these programs.”
Susan McFarland: 817-390-7984, @susanmcfarland1
How to get the App:
- Go to the I-tunes App or for android on Google Play and download the free SirenGPS mobile app.
- Create an account.
- Join NETCOM 911 which allows you to make 911 phone calls from the Siren GPS App.
- Fill out, if desired, medical information for emergency responders, such as major health issues, medications, allergies, and a photo so that responders immediately recognize the person needing medical attention. Also, consider filling out "next of kin" notifications.