Local entrepreneurs leverage the cloud to modernise emergency dispatch

Johannesburg, 19 Mar 2018
Read time 3min 40sec

During emergency situations such as a heart attack, stroke, break-in or fire - every second counts, because the ability to arrive on scene quickly and immediately assist victims can mean the difference between life and death.

This desire to dramatically improve response times by emergency services and empower first responders to do more using fewer resources is what drove a local company to employ modern technology and establish a world-class emergency services dispatch platform. Moreover, this solution is accessible to any sized company as it's charged on a per user basis and helps services dramatically improve their services and ultimately - save more lives.

RapidDeploy discards legacy emergency dispatch systems in favour of modern technology such as IOT, cloud computing, mobility and online mapping in order to solve the key challenges faced by emergency service providers and make mission-critical dispatch more affordable (and consequently more accessible), quicker and more reliable.

Capitalising on the power of the cloud

"RapidDeploy is cloud-hosted using Microsoft Azure and accessed using a Web browser or mobile app, so there is no infrastructure cost for control room implementation," says Steven Raucher, Co-Founder and CEO of RapidDeploy.

Additional benefits unlocked by the cloud include automatic and free software upgrades, plus the fact that there is no risk of data loss, as the system performs continuous backups of every incident.

"In fact, RapidDeploy has dispatched hundreds of thousands of incidents without a single minute of downtime, which massively reduces response times and contributes towards helping to save more lives," adds Raucher.

Developed in South Africa by local paramedics, the solution is the only computer aided dispatch platform that is endorse by the South African private ambulance and emergency services association (SAPAESA). It is currently used by more than 40 clients that range from fire departments through to ambulance services and emergency response organisations across South Africa, the Gulf, Europe and the USA.

Providing speedy, quality service anywhere, anytime

Due to the fact that RapidDeploy is hosted in the cloud, it is a far more agile platform that is suitable for any dispatch environment including rural- and remote call centres. Using an Open API (application programming interface), the platform can be integrated with third party applications.

"For instance, we are the only local platform to integrate with what3words, allowing our customers to quickly find patients or victims, even when they are located within an area where there are no street signs or street names," explains Raucher.

Access to this kind of information in real-time not only helps speed up response times but also improves the overall operational awareness for dispatchers and supervisors. This means that as with Uber where the nearest driver to the client can respond to customer request, the nearest responder to the victim can be automatically assigned and be provided with all the information they require to get on-site as quickly as possible.

Once on the scene, they can use their mobile app to capture patient details as well as the incident data, which is sent to dispatch in real-time via the cloud. Using this information, dispatch is able to direct the respondent to the closest and most relevant facility for further care. The stored information is also used to assist in expediting billing, since the stored info is also used for billing and reporting.

In South Africa, as in many other parts of the world, first responders are often targeted by criminals. RapidDeploy does not only allow for the tracking of staff but also for the real time tracking of the company's fleet, helping to make the operating environment for EMS personnel safer.

Ultimately, RapidDeploy is the only emergency dispatch platform able to challenges of the South African EMS market, along with many other countries all over the world, which has resulted in it becoming one of the country's most sought after local technology exports.

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