PowerPhone Unveils New System for Delivering Cell Phone Photos to 9-1-1 Operators

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PowerPhone, a leader in 9-1-1 training and technology, has unveiled a new system for delivering cell phone photos from 9-1-1 callers right to call handlers as part of its Total Response® Computer Aided Call Handling™ software. The new technology, called Cell Photo Delivery (CPD) was unveiled today at the 72nd Annual Conference of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO).

The goal of Total Response software is to empower the 9-1-1 call handler while emergency responders are on their way to the scene

Imagine you’re a 9-1-1 dispatcher. A woman calls 9-1-1 from her cell phone to report a suspicious man in a shopping mall who’s wearing a long overcoat in the middle of the summer.

Obviously, you’d want to gather as much information from the caller as possible -- including a description of the person. But what if the caller could send you a picture of the man from her camera phone?

PowerPhone, a leader in 9-1-1 training and technology, has unveiled a new system for delivering cell phone photos from 9-1-1 callers right to call handlers as part of its Total Response® Computer Aided Call Handling™ software. The new technology, called Cell Photo Delivery (CPD) was unveiled today at the 72nd Annual Conference of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO).

“Technology is changing the rules when it comes to emergency response,” said Chris Salafia, PowerPhone’s president and CEO. “Citizens are now the eyes and ears for our 9-1-1 operators -- and camera phone photos are going to be an important part of improving safety and security."

While some public safety agencies have started accepting cell phone photos to a generic e-mail address, PowerPhone’s CPD system is the first that integrates these photos directly into a 9-1-1 call record.

PowerPhone’s CPD system works like this: a citizen calls from his cell phone to report an emergency or suspicious activity -- let’s say he’s spotted a missing child who the police issued an Amber Alert for. The caller dials 9-1-1 to report the sighting and says he can send a picture of the child for verification. The call handler sends an e-mail message to the caller’s cell phone from PowerPhone’s Total Response® Computer Aided Call Handling™ software. The caller then replies to this message with the photo attached. Total Response stores the photo in the incident record for easy reference.

By following this process, the 9-1-1 center ensures that photos are linked with the appropriate records of the citizen’s 9-1-1 call. Even more important, this process discourages citizens from randomly sending photos into the 9-1-1 center -- an arrangement that can lead to pranks and other abuses of the system.

“The goal of Total Response software is to empower the 9-1-1 call handler while emergency responders are on their way to the scene,” said Salafia. “Our e-mail picture delivery system gives call handlers another tool that can help them save lives and improve safety and security in their communities.”

According to InfoTrends, a leading market research firm on digital imaging, of the 741 million cell phones in use worldwide, over 50% are camera phones. This number is expected to grow to 87% of phones in use by 2010.

In a recent study conducted by a leading European mobile communications retailer in conjunction with the London School of Economics, over 50% of respondents said they would use their camera phone to record evidence of a crime and 47% said they would take pictures of a crime in progress.

For more information on Total Response, visit http://www.powerphone.com.

About PowerPhone

Based in Madison, Connecticut, PowerPhone, Inc. is a leader in 9 1 1 training and technology. Founded in 1984, the company has trained more than 130,000 public safety professionals representing all 50 U.S. states and more than a dozen foreign countries. The maker of Computer Aided Call Handling (CACH) software, PowerPhone offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower public safety professionals to best manage calls for service.

Contact:

Greg Sheehan

Office: 203.245.8911 ext. 312

Cell: 203.464.2237

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