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12/23/2013

ProQA Gives Centers the Benefit of a Text Message

ProQA Gives Centers the Benefit of a Text Message

Salt Lake City, Utah—Priority Dispatch Corp.™ (PDC™) has teamed up with the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch™(IAED®) to help prepare Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) to receive text messages.

ProQA® Paramount software, developed by PDC, now has the ability to send SMS compatible, exact protocol-based text the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system. CADs that support this feature can relay SMS text containing Case Entry Questions, Key Questions, and Dispatch Life Support (DLS) Instructions. This includes the lifesaving Pre-Arrival Instructions (PAIs) and safety warnings exactly as they are written in the Medical, Police, and Fire Priority Dispatch Systems™.

SMS compatibility in ProQA reflects PDC’s ongoing pledge to public safety and its ability to address the constantly changing state of 9-1-1 technology.

“This represents another significant benchmark in the development of our ProQA software,” said Tom Knorr, PDC director of software development and quality assurance. “We’re always readying our clients for the future.”

While voice communication is still the most efficient way for callers to communicate with emergency dispatchers, Knorr said there are situations when SMS texting takes precedence. For example, text to 9-1-1 services can prove invaluable when seeking emergency help when voice communication is dangerous, and it can be a more reliable way of reaching 9-1-1 in areas where wireless coverage is spotty. SMS capability is also an important feature to speech and hearing-impaired individuals accustomed to texting as a primary form of telecommunication.

ProQA software support of text messaging meets recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposals requiring wireless carriers and providers of “interconnected text messaging applications” to support the ability of sending messages to 9-1-1 in all areas where PSAPs are also prepared to receive the texts.

The proposed FCC rules were based, in part, on a voluntary commitment made by AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile to provide “text to 9-1-1” services by May 15, 2014. These carriers also agreed to provide automatic “bounce back” notifications, when text to 9-1-1 service is not available, by June 30, 2013.

PDC is the only emergency dispatch system provider with an in-house research and development organization and the approval of a recognized body of industry experts, the IAED. For more information or to watch an online streaming demonstration of MPDS ProQA Paramount software, visit www.prioritydispatch.net or call (800)363-9127. 


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