Texting 911 And Calling A ‘Cloud’: What Is The Future Of Emergency Call Centers?

Emergency call centers haven’t changed much in 35 years, but now with advancing technology that is all about to change. Dialling 911 might never be quite the same again.

In an emergency, you’ll soon have the choice as to whether you want to call, text or send a picture message. In a sense, you can choose the method that suits you and the requirements of the emergency.

Cloud-based call centers, operating on a remote server online, offer a more efficient and reliable service. This eliminates the risks of any technical problem preventing your call from being answered.

Why Texting 911 Is A Good Idea

There are a staggering 2.2 trillion text messages sent each year, proving that for many of the world’s population, this method of communicating is as natural as talking. But would you ever consider texting the emergency services?

Although this option would not suit everyone, it could be a valuable advance in 911 technology. For example, if your house was being burglarized, it might be safer to raise the alarm via text than a potentially noisy phone call.

The emergency contact center would be able to pinpoint the location of each SMS message. All the texts could be read at once alongside a map, making it easy for staff to see what’s happening where in an emergency situation.

This option would be great for people with speech and hearing impairments, making the emergency services more accessible to them.

However, texting is never likely to surpass simply calling the emergency services as there are downsides to messaging. For instance, it often takes longer than calling and it can be too fiddly if you are very ill – making it an inappropriate option if you were severely wounded. You also can’t get the immediate response and comfort that you would by knowing someone is on the other end of the line.

How A Picture Message Helped to Solve A Crime

A rather unorthodox case helped emergency services to see the benefits of texting and picture messaging in a call center setting. A thirteen-year-old girl was alone at home, when she spotted two men trying to break into a neighbor’s house. She dialled 911, but was too nervous to speak to the operator properly about what was going on.

This difficult situation triggered a new approach from the call center worker: he asked the girl to send him a picture of the burglar’s licence plate. Armed with this information, the police were able to track down the gang and bring them to justice.

How A Cloud-Based Call Center Could Help You In An Emergency

One of the main problems faced by emergency call centers is a sudden influx of calls. Many centers struggle to cope and people can sometimes be left on hold. Waiting on the other line is something we are used to when calling an insurance provider, one of life’s mild annoyances, but you wouldn’t expect it to happen if you dialled 911. The situation is often exacerbated by passers-by calling in to report the same accident or crime as well.

The arrival of new cloud technology promises to end these problems, providing a more efficient way of handling calls. ‘Cloud’ technology uses remote servers hosted on the internet to process, store and manage data. It is a very reliable way of working and can greatly improve productivity.

These new developments in emergency services’ technology point towards a new and innovative future for call center solutions, where it becomes more of online communication center, than a traditional call center.

How do you think call center will change in the future? Do you think texting 911 will catch on?

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