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Google and RapidSOS Now Provide Emergency Location for 911 Calls

Life-saving location data is provided to 9-1-1 during emergency calls from Android devices

A New York company announced today that it is teaming up with the Google to offer location services to emergency agencies for cell phone activated 9-1-1 calls across the nation.

RapidSOS today announced the partnership which delivers life-saving 911 caller location information to public safety agencies nationwide. With the U.S. activation of Android Emergency Location Service (ELS), emergency communications centers using the free RapidSOS Next Generation 911 (NG911) Clearinghouse will now receive faster and more accurate caller location for 911 calls from Android devices.

Due to outdated infrastructure, public safety agencies today often receive no data around an emergency besides a voice connection and a broad estimate of location. The FCC estimates that faster response from improved location for 911 calls could save over 10,000 lives annually.

Android ELS, a service supported on 99% of Android devices, transmits faster and more accurate emergency location both indoors and outdoors to emergency services during a 911 call. With this announcement, emergency location from Android devices is now being delivered to emergency communications centers in the U.S. via the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse, a secure source of emergency data that is offered as a free service to every public safety agency nationwide.

“Emergency Location Service in Android has made a profound impact on emergency response in the 15 countries where it is live today,” said RapidSOS CEO, Michael Martin. “This partnership between Google and RapidSOS puts life-saving data directly into the hands of 911 telecommunicators in the United States via modern NG911 mechanisms.”

“I’ve been in 911 for over 20 years and for the longest time we had to wait for someone else to fix the wireless location challenge,” said Bob Finney, 911 Communications Director at Collier County Sheriff’s Office. “With ELS and RapidSOS, we can actually take action in the emergency communications center to improve the safety of our citizens.”

The NG911 Clearinghouse is currently integrated in over 1,000 emergency communications centers nationwide, covering more than 100 million Americans. Agencies not yet connected can start receiving data from the NG911 Clearinghouse today through one of two methods:

  • Any emergency communications center can access data from the NG911 Clearinghouse today with RapidLite, a 100% free, secure, web-based tool for public safety agencies. Authorized agencies can request an account in minutes at
  • RapidSOS partners with all major public safety software companies to integrate data from the NG911 Clearinghouse directly in existing dashboards and workflows. Public safety officials can view the list of RapidSOS partners here.

The announcement of nationwide Android ELS activation comes after a January 2018 pilot project conducted by Google and RapidSOS to deliver ELS location to emergency communications centers in the U.S. Throughout the pilot, participating emergency communications centers reported several incidents, from medical emergencies to car crashes, where faster and more accurate location contributed to an accelerated emergency response, saving lives. To see the full results and learn more about the pilot project, download the report here.

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Duncan Idaho

Duncan is a science and technology reporter for CDN and serves as the lead geek correspondent. Follow him if you like rockets, mobile tech, video games or ... just about anything nerdy.

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