Resources – Overview

Life-Saving Emergency Technology

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Frequently Asked Questions

RapidSOS Clearinghouse

How do ECCs receive data from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse?

There are two ways to access data from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse for emergency response.

RapidSOS Portal allows any agency to access the RapidSOS Clearinghouse through a secure internet browser connection. With RapidSOS Portal, agencies receive a map dashboard to view location and additional data for all emergency calls with data available from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse. Authorized agencies can sign up for an account at rapidsosportal.com.

Agencies can also access data from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse through an integration with their existing call-taking equipment, mapping software & CAD products. RapidSOS partners with every major public safety software provider to make data from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse available through agencies’ existing dashboards. The process varies based on the vendor, ranging from a remote update to a new software version. ECCs that are interested in an integration with their existing software should reach out to their vendor and to RapidSOS to receive more information on the process. Learn more at www.rapidsos.com/integration.

What is the RapidSOS Clearinghouse?

The RapidSOS Clearinghouse is a NENA i3 compliant Location Information Server (LIS) and Additional Data Repository (ADR) that is accessible to authorized PSAPs through integrations into all major call-taking equipment, mapping software, & CAD products.

Through the RapidSOS Clearinghouse, PSAPs can securely access additional emergency data from connected devices, including device-based hybrid location information from smartphones.

Does accessing the RapidSOS Clearinghouse cost money?

RapidSOS offers access to the RapidSOS Clearinghouse at no charge to all authorized U.S. Emergency Communications Centers. RapidSOS does not charge an integration fee or license fee for RapidLite for U.S. ECCs. Most vendor partners have agreed to include data from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse  their software at no additional cost. Please contact your vendor or service provider to discuss whether there is any cost involved in upgrading you to a version of their software with data from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse.

Where does the data available in the RapidSOS Clearinghouse come from?

RapidSOS works with connected device companies — mobile app, wearable, connected car, smart home, and smartphone providers — to send data from their platforms to the RapidSOS Clearinghouse. Over 3,000 agencies currently receive fast, accurate location from Google and Apple, as well as other sources of additional rich emergency data such as MedicAlert and Uber. As more technology companies work with RapidSOS, agencies will receive access to additional sources of situational information. Agencies can get access to all data sources as soon as they become available with RapidLite.

How do I receive support for RapidSOS products?

If you have a non-urgent support request, email support@rapidsos.com. If you have an exigent circumstance request and need immediate assistance, please refer to our entry in the NENA Company ID Database for up-to-date phone and fax contact information.

Does RapidSOS location data replace the ALI?

No. RapidSOS location and additional data comes in as supplemental information. Call-takers and dispatchers will still receive the ALI location they are used to.

Does device-based location get delivered on every call?

To receive a mobile caller’s more accurate device-based location 9-1-1 communications centers need to access the free RapidSOS Clearinghouse service. 9-1-1 communications centers with access to the RapidSOS Clearinghouse will receive device location for calls made from iPhones (iOS 12+) and Androids (version 4.0+) within the 9-1-1 center jurisdiction.

Location data via the Clearinghouse is meant to supplement existing carrier-provided location information and may not be available on every call. A variety of technical factors impact the availability and accuracy of device-based location. For example, location may not be available through the RapidSOS Clearinghouse if the call is placed from a phone running on a network that doesn’t allow the simultaneous delivery of voice and data (often Sprint phones run on these networks). If you’re not seeing location when you think it should be available, or if you have more questions about how to operationalize device-based location, please email us at support@rapidsos.com (note: if your inquiry is regarding a specific call please provide the phone numbers you’re using and the timestamps of your calls so that we can best investigate).

Is device-based location delivered for text-to-911?

Device-based location is available in the RapidSOS Clearinghouse for a portion of text-to-911 incidents if the text was initiated from an Android device.  As with 9-1-1 calling, device-based location via the RapidSOS Clearinghouse is meant to supplement carrier-provided location and a variety of technical factors will impact the availability and accuracy of device-based location delivered by the RapidSOS Clearinghouse.  If you’re not seeing location when you think it should be available, or if you have more questions about how to operationalize device-based location, please email us at support@rapidsos.com (note: if your inquiry is regarding a specific call please provide with the phone numbers you’re using and the timestamps of your calls so that we can best investigate).

RapidSOS Portal

What is RapidSOS Portal?

RapidSOS Portal is a free, easy-to-use web tool for ECCs to receive enhanced data via the RapidSOS Clearinghouse. RapidSOS Portal is the easiest way to access all data available in the Clearinghouse.

How do I sign up for use of RapidSOS Portal?

Only a PSAP administrator can sign up for RapidSOS Portal for their agency. There is a two to four week review process for all agencies. Once approved, you can view data from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse for calls within your jurisdiction. You can also add authorized users for different roles within the PSAP.

To create an account:

  1. Visit the account creation page and enter your work email address and a password.
  2. Click sign up and you will be prompted to provide more details about your agency (name, contact info, ECC information, and your agency’s geographic coverage area). This information is important so our team can confirm the account is being requested by an authorized ECC.
  3. After entering the information, you will be prompted to read and sign our standard license agreement. The license agreement regulates how data from RapidSOS Portal can be used (i.e., only for providing emergency assistance and not for any other purpose) and authorizes RapidSOS to provide that information voluntarily to the PSAP (RapidSOS does not have a regulatory requirement like wireless carriers to do so).

Is RapidSOS Portal a replacement to RapidSOS Clearinghouse integrations through my software vendors?

We recommend that agencies use both RapidSOS Portal and an integration with their existing software. RapidSOS Portal has unique features including an additional data view, immediate access to new data sources, and easy implementation with no software requirements.

How can I include RapidSOS Portal in my Standard Operating Procedures?

RapidSOS Portal provides supplemental location information obtained directly from connected devices, and therefore can be faster, more accurate, and have additional data compared to ALI information. RapidSOS Portal does not replace existing call-taking, mapping, and dispatch software.

We recommend including RapidSOS Portal in your Standard Operating Procedures as a source of additional data to validate caller location and situational information for all wireless calls.

Can secondary ECCs, who receive 911 calls indirectly via dispatchers, use RapidSOS Portal?

Yes, any PSAP (as defined in Section 20.3 of the rules of the Federal Communications Commission) can use RapidSOS Portal and access the location information, as long as it is within the geofence and the provisioned area upon registration.

Emergency API Suite

What is the Emergency API Suite?

The Emergency API Suite is a collection of APIs that provide connected devices and applications with a direct digital connection to thousands of public safety agencies representing over 240 million people. The Alert, Profile, and Incident APIs allow connected devices to send profile data, location, emergency notifications, real-time sensor data, text, multimedia, and emergency calls directly to emergency services (9-1-1), third-party call centers, and emergency contacts specified by the users. The Emergency API Suite is designed to be a comprehensive data connection between users and emergency services to improve emergency outcomes and serve as a lifeline.

Company & Industry

Who makes up RapidSOS’ team and investors?

RapidSOS was started by founders who had personal experiences struggling to receive help during emergencies. Since then, the team has worked with the public safety community and Internet of Things companies to develop technology to improve emergency response and save lives. The RapidSOS team is made up of entrepreneurs, technologists, and former public safety telecommunicators dedicated to the life-saving mission to modernize emergency response infrastructure worldwide.

RapidSOS has received funding from leading technology, telecommunication, and critical infrastructure entities including three former FCC chairmen, Highland Capital, M12 Ventures, CSAA Ventures (the venture arm of AAA), Two Sigma Ventures, Playground Global, and former leadership of AT&T, Virgin, Apple, Verizon, and more.

What is RapidSOS’ business model?

RapidSOS’ business model is built on partnerships with connected device companies (smartphones, mobile apps, smart home devices, connected car, wearables). For example, a RapidSOS powered wearable device can connect a user to 9-1-1 during an emergency along with rich, life-saving data. This reduces costs and improves emergency outcomes.

RapidSOS offers access to the RapidSOS Clearinghouse and use of RapidLite at no cost to U.S. public safety agencies.

What is NG911 & how does RapidSOS fit in?

Next Generation 911 (NG911) is a term that is often used for the migration of a copper-wire based legacy telephony system to a more robust, Internet Protocol (IP)-based platform that will allow voice calls, texts, location information and more to be transmitted in a more reliable, scalable and robust manner. Most features of RapidSOS tools do not require a full NG911 network deployment. The only requirement other than an ability to display RapidSOS Clearinghouse data is a secure robust IP connection from the PSAP to the Clearinghouse, through a software integration or access to RapidSOS Portal.

Many States have established NG911 infrastructure and have migrated their voice traffic to this new system. RapidSOS is the first company to actually transmit NG911 data, such as device location and additional data, through to these networks. If NG911 is a data superhighway, RapidSOS is the data that travels on it.

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