July 26, 2021

San Francisco teams up with Uber for 9-1-1

An ambulance racing toward a single-room occupancy hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood wouldn’t have known where to go in October 2018 had it not been for a ping from a smartphone.

The caller had just fallen down a stairwell inside the SRO hotel and the only location the person could provide was a nearby auto body shop, said Robert Smuts, a deputy director for San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management.

But with new location technology, a dispatcher entered the victim’s cell phone number into a real-time location tracking program called RapidSOS, shrinking the search area from what would have been an eight-block radius to a specific building on the 100 block of Turk Street.

In an effort to shorten emergency response times in San Francisco, the city announced on Monday that it is now using location data from RapidSOS, a New York-based public safety tech company, and ride-hailing company Uber to improve location coordinates generated from 911 calls.

Continue reading: San Francisco teams up with Uber, location tracker on 911 call responses

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