UC rolls out state-of-the-art 911 system on campus

Partnership leverages technology to improve emergency response times

The University of Cincinnati has rolled out a new, state-of-the-art 911-system.

The university’s new system seamlessly integrates with the City of Cincinnati’s Emergency Communications Center (ECC) and offers more sophisticated support for emergencies reported from mobile devices on campus. 

The new system has greater capabilities for data transfer when someone calls 911 from a cell phone. With the implementation of the new system, when the City of Cincinnati ECC transfers a call to UC’s Emergency Communications Center, dispatchers will receive the caller’s name, phone number and location within 500 feet. If the call is dropped during the transfer, UC dispatchers will receive the last known location of the caller. 

Additionally, when someone calls 911 from a campus landline phone, UC dispatchers will receive a more precise location of the caller, whereas previously dispatchers did not receive location information from campus landlines. 

Text messages sent to 911 from a mobile device on campus will transfer to the University of Cincinnati Police Division (UCPD) ECC similarly to a phone call. Previously, when the City of Cincinnati’s ECC received a text message to 911 about an emergency on UC’s campus, they had to transcribe and send it to UCPD. 

“The 911 project’s success is the result of a partnership among the City of Cincinnati, OARnet, and several UC departments, including UC Public Safety, the Office of General Counsel, and Digital Technology Solutions,” said Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Eliot Isaac. “While the person calling 911 may have a similar experience as they would previously, they will receive an improved response time from emergency responders as a result of the more precise location information that dispatchers receive.” 

“The 911 project is an excellent example of how digital transformation supports our students’ safety and ultimately their success as Bearcats,” said UC Vice President & Chief Digital Officer Bharath Prabhakaran. “We all worked as one UC to partner with the City of Cincinnati and OARnet to leverage the university’s upgraded technology infrastructure and the State of Ohio’s emergency network to deliver a system that will help improve emergency response times on campus.”

There are no changes to the process for reporting emergencies on campus. Dial 911 from any phone on campus to report an emergency.  

Featured image at top: An emergency communications dispatcher looks at a screen displaying the new 911 system. Photo by Kelly Cantwell.

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