Sarah Bahari reports on Calling the Emergency Services. Ram Dantu is leading a group of multi-disciplinary University of North Texas students experimenting on the next generation of 911 services.
"With grants totaling more than $3 million from the National Science Foundation, Dantu is leading an effort to overhaul the 911 infrastructure to better handle emerging technology, such as Internet-based phones, text messages and phones with photo capabilities. He also is developing software to detect and block spam from overloading the emergency service system and developing technologies to better alert the public to emergency situations."
"Emergency services like 911 have had trouble keeping pace with increasingly widespread technology. Reports of delayed responses, misdirected ambulances and unanswered calls from Internet-based phones to 911 are on the rise.
And, like e-mail, Internet-based phones are vulnerable to spam, which could lead to waves of unwanted phone calls and potentially dangerous service tie-ups that could prevent callers from even getting through to emergency help."
The team are asking critical questions:
- How can 911 call centers be secured from outside attacks that would tie up available lines?
- What can be done to ensure service during large-scale emergencies? How can neighborhoods be quickly notified of emergencies?
- And how can 911 services for people who are deaf or hearing-impaired be enhanced through the use of video phones?