SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–Apple is adding a new feature to its next iPhone, which may help 911 find you easier in an emergency.
The feature will give dispatchers a more instant and precise location of where calls are coming from, but Greene County Emergency Management says they won’t be able to utilize it.
That’s because the county doesn’t have the millions of dollars necessary to implement the technology.
Making it easier for first responders to save lives is the latest feature Apple will be adding to its next iPhone. This will allow dispatchers to see a more direct location to get to emergencies-cutting down on their response time.
“In medicine, the first 60 minutes of a trauma incident is called the “Golden Hour.” The chances of someone surviving and being able to recover from a serious trauma incident is greatly enhanced if they can receive definitive treatment in that first hour,” says J.R. Webb, assistant director of Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications.
Web says right now dispatchers are able to pin point where calls are coming from, but Apple’s new feature would be more specific in placing the location.
“If we have more precise information, it will be that much more we can give our responders that go to these emergencies, perhaps we get into the apartment complex and we can get a little closer,” says Webb.
Apple’s upgrade is something that Greene County Emergency Management won’t be able to take advantage of. That would require technology upgrades and millions in funds so the county will continue to use it’s current system.
“It’s very expensive and as you know the state of Missouri does not have a lot of access funds laying around. Until there is an IP network available to us to deliver 911 calls on, which will replace our current legacy 50-year-old circuits to deliver calls on, it is my understanding that we can not receive the information available to us through the Apple product,” says Webb.
Surrounding states like Kansas and Iowa are in the process of setting up a network to be able to use Apple’s upgrade.
Apple is expected to release that upgrade later this year.