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New software will make it easier to find 911 callers in Manatee County

"It’s a game-changer in the industry," the Manatee County ECC division chief said.

BRADENTON, Fla. — In an emergency situation, every second counts. 

But, when you call 911 your location might not the first thing on your mind.

New software in Manatee County's 911 center is going to make finding a caller's location faster and more accurate.

The product is called RapidDeploy and it's from a company called Radius.

It’s a GIS mapping solution that helps provide a more accurate location for cell phone callers.

“Say there is a vehicle accident out on 75. I mean how many people know what mile marker they are at?” Emergency Communications Center Division Chief Stacy Needham said.

One of the best features Radius has is called "rapid locate." That gives dispatchers the ability to text callers and request their locations. 

Finding where you are isn’t the only thing this software can do.

“It enhances communication between 911 and the 911 caller tenfold,” Needham said.

All you have to do is press OK and first responders will be on their way. It closes that language barrier with google translate.

“When you call 911 with your cell phone, it’s an estimated location,” Needham said. “It depends on the cell tower it hits, the satellite it hits.”

That’s where Radius comes in.

“It’s a game-changer in the industry,” Needham said. “With this enhanced location feature, we know exactly where it is so we can get you to the right emergency communication center much quicker.”

It can mean the difference between life and death. It even works if you’re calling from the middle of the ocean.

“We are right along the coast. Those are extremely challenging because we get a caller and they’re not on a street, they can’t say the last road they were on, they are out in the water so we need those coordinates,” Needham said.

“With getting that accurate location we can send marine rescue and the Coast Guard out much quicker.”

The Manatee County dispatchers did a 7-month trial of the software and thanks to a grant from the 911 State Board, they'll get to use it every day.

The ECC division chief says they hope to have it up running within the next month or two.

RELATED: New system will allow Manatee Co. 911 operators to better find cell phone callers

RELATED: Why is 911 the emergency call number?

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