Cayuga County E-911 testing backup system for call locating

Cayuga County’s E-911 Emergency Communications Department this week began testing a backup system for pinpointing the location of calls, department Director Denise Spingler said Wednesday.

In situations where callers can’t identify their location, such as domestic violence cases where the caller can’t speak or similar situations, the county’s E-911 phone system is able to determine where the call is being made using nearby cell towers.

Beginning this week, the department has been testing a supplementary, web-based system called RapidSOS that would locate calls with nearly as much accuracy in the event the main system goes down, Spingler told the Cayuga County Legislature’s Judicial and Public Safety Committee.

When taking a call, department staff enter the relevant information into RapidSOS’ web-based solution and receive a location estimate. In addition to a map visualization, the system also provides altitude, latitude and longitude and a percentage-based confidence factor.

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