Snapshot: Public Safety Agencies Pilot AI to Aid in First Response

Snapshot: Public Safety Agencies Pilot Artificial Intelligence to Aid in First Response

10/16/2018 09:05 AM EDT

Imagine a first responder answering the call to a natural disaster, a house fire, or an active shooter incident where there may be multiple injuries and unknown casualties. The information the responder needs to fulfill the mission is immeasurable. When you also consider the volume of data they receive from other responders, dispatch, command centers, victims, and onlookers while receiving and relaying information to medical personnel, it becomes clear that responders have to synthesize a large amount of life-saving information in a short amount of time. This can lead to information overload.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T)’s Next Generation First Responder Apex program (NGFR) partnered with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to address this capability gap and develop the Assistant for Understanding Data through Reasoning, Extraction, and Synthesis (AUDREY). AUDREY is a state-of-the-art human-like reasoning system designed to assist first responders in synthesizing high-level data while at the scene of an emergency. DHS S&T began the AUDREY software pilot at the Multi Agency Communications Center (MACC) in Grant County, Washington, in the fall of 2017 and will pilot AUDREY at the Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services in Ontario, Canada in early 2019.

Similar to the voice-activated device on a smartphone or the voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant available to the public, AUDREY is personalized to the individual responder and has the capability to recognize first responder specialized language. However, unlike the artificial general intelligence (AGI) systems available to the general public, AUDREY uses bio-inspired neural symbolic processing for cognitive reasoning. In other words, AUDREY leverages human intelligence and collects data to achieve better machine intelligence and provides insight that first responders may not have in the crucial moments of an emergency.

“AUDREY learns, analyzes, reasons, predicts, collaborates, and provides data fusion to provide direction for first responders on the scene,” said Dr. Edward Chow, manager of the Civil Programs Office at NASA JPL. “In other words, AUDREY has the potential to serve as a sort of guardian angel for first responders while responding to an emergency.”

As demonstrated in Next Generation First Responder video released last spring, AUDREY provides situational awareness during an incident, connecting first responders across different agencies with vital information right at their fingertips.

“AUDREY provides the kind of information at an incident that may not be readily apparent to even the most seasoned first responder,” said S&T’s NGFR Director John Merrill, DHS S&T AUDREY program manager.

“AUDREY’s purpose is to aid responders in taking all of the pertinent data related to an incident and making quicker decisions. In turn, this not only helps first responders save lives, but also keeps them better protected,” Merrill concluded.

At the MACC in Grant County, Washington, Technical Services Manager Dean Hane anticipates AUDREY will aid in caller and data information gathering as well as serve as a tool in synthesizing caller information from text-to-911.

“The major priority for dispatchers across the nation is to get a call out faster and more accurately to our first responders out in the field,” said Hane. “We believe AUDREY will be a tool we’ll use to gather information and data collection processes and to speed up our response.”

With the onset of text-to-911 services available in many dispatch centers across the country, many in the industry believe the future of 911 dispatch will be phone applications developed for the public to report more detailed information from an incident. Currently, the MACC offers the text-to-911 service and anticipates that evolution.

“Certainly, there will be a variety of unanticipated standards and data that will be collected from that kind of technology that we would need a tool like AUDREY to synthesize,” said Hane. “AUDREY will be that peek into the future – and we’re excited that we’ll be at the onset to crack open that door.”

Hane explained that while many are excited about the prospect of AUDREY’s ability to streamline dispatch, some are apprehensive that AGI may eventually take their jobs. However, Hanes assures, “Dispatchers don’t need to worry about AGI taking their jobs.

“Nothing can ever take the place of human intuition. There are instances where a caller may disguise their distress, in the example of domestic abuse. Trained dispatchers are able to distinguish cues that AI cannot,” Merrill stressed.

“AUDREY was created to learn with first responders and supplement their decisions while out in the field. There is no replacement for human intuition,” said Merrill.

Currently, the MACC is in the midst of gathering data to input into the AUDREY platform for their demonstration in the fall.

For Doug Socha, chief paramedic with the Hastings-Quinte Paramedic services, piloting a system like AUDREY seems like the natural next step in next generation first responder technology.

“Our services have been very progressive in advancing technology and trying to support paramedics in providing the best patient outcome possible. We’re always looking to try to advance tools and give paramedics the ability to do their job in those highly critical situations,” said Socha.

Socha was introduced to AUDREY through the established partnership between DHS S&T and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) during the CAUSE IV interoperability experiment.

“When I first heard about AUDREY’s capabilities to support responders with instant decision-making, I saw an opportunity where this type of AI can benefit paramedics from a health care system point of view,” said Socha. “The ability to have paramedics check on medication or relay information to hospitals that could save them time, can help paramedics focus more on patient care.”

Socha explained that often, paramedics’ ability to treat patients on the spot is limited because they must call and consult physicians before taking the next steps in treatment.

“We lose crucial seconds when we could be saving lives,” said Socha.

Grant County’s Multi Agency Communication Center (MACC) will provide feedback and demo AUDREY’s integration with first responder communications by late fall 2018. The AUDREY pilot with Hastings-Quinte paramedic services will begin in early 2019.

Topics: First Responders, Science and Technology
Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, data, First Responder, News, R&D, Science and Technology

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Preview YouTube video Next Generation First Responder

Next Generation First Responder

 

Nominations to Fill Open Seat on P25 CAP Advisory Panel

SAFECOM members,

On October 1, 2018, DHS S&T published a 30 Day Federal Register Notice seeking nominations to fill an open seat on the Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP) Advisory Panel (AP). The P25 CAP AP members provide the views of active local, state, tribal, territorial and federal government users of portable, handheld, mobile vehicle-mounted radios and infrastructure, including repeaters, consoles and gateways. The P25 CAP AP provides recommendations to S&T for strategic direction of the P25 CAP, addresses user input to improve the P25 CAP compliance process and provides feedback to P25 standards committees. The notice can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/10/01/2018-21241/office-for-interoperability-and-compatibility-seeks-nominations-for-the-project-25-compliance.

All expressions of interest and nominations should be submitted to P25CAP@hq.dhs.gov. Please note that the 30 day notice will close on October 31, 2018.

 

Public Safety Advocate Update, September 10, 2018

An online publication of FirstNet.

Blog series: 5 early benefits of FirstNet. Check out our fourth blog in a series of five, entitled “Early Benefits of FirstNet: Support is Available to Public Safety 24/7/365.” The blog series highlights the five early benefits of FirstNet for public safety. Read more

Public Safety First Podcast: Episode 5. In our latest podcast episode, guest host Mike Varney, First Responder Network Authority Northeast Director, chats with Deputy Chief Travis Hollis of the Rogers, AZ, Fire Department about why a city in “Tornado Alley” decided to transition to FirstNet.  As an early adopter, Deputy Chief Hollis talks about how FirstNet is changing the way his agency’s responders communicate and the future of public safety communications, including the Internet of Life-Saving Things (IoLST). Listen to the full episode and share the latest episode on Twitter.

Visit https://www.firstnet.gov/ for these stories and more:  APWA’s Annual Conference Inspires Recognition of Public Works Professionals; FirstNet helps public works agencies coordinate with public safety partners; and FirstNet supports public safety during community celebrations

All Things FirstNet

For the following stories and much more.  Visit http://allthingsfirstnet.com/.

FirstNet Spectrum Added To Over 2,500 Sites
Last month AT&T announced it added FirstNet-dedicated digital spectrum to more than 2,500 sites across the country. By Christopher Vondracek The total number of public safety…

Louisiana Ambulance Company On Board With FirstNet
“We’re waiting for that test event,” said Joey Branton, Director of Technology for Acadian Ambulance, who serves much of Louisiana, a swath of East Texas,…

Florida, Georgia Agencies adopt FirstNet
Two new agencies in the American Southeast have opted in to using FirstNet devices in the last week.  A sheriff’s department in a Georgia county…

DHS Emergency Services Sector Webinar – Register Today

DHS Emergency Services Sector

presents a webinar on the 

DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD)

Office for Bombing Prevention.

In this webinar, the DHS Office of Bombing Prevention (OBP) will give an overview of OBP programs and information sharing efforts that support first responders.

Webinar Date: July 26, 2018, 1-2 pm Eastern

Webinar Registration:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4312512592784881922

On July 26, the National Information Sharing Consortium will be hosting a webinar with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Emergency Services Sector-Specific Agency (ESS) on the DHS National Programs & Protection Directorate (NPPD) Office of Bombing Prevention (OBP). The webinar will describe the full spectrum of products, services, and offerings from the DHS OBP to include Counter-IED (C-IED) information sharing through the Technical Resource for Incident Prevention (TRIPwire), OBP’s extensive C-IED training and solutions program, as well as OBP’s C-IED Capability Assessment and Planning to include the National Counter-IED Capabilities Analysis Database (NCCAD) and Multi-Jurisdiction IED Security Planning (MJIEDSP) Program.

The DHS ESS webinar is the twelfth webinar in the NISC’s Mission-Focused Job Aids Webinar Series that will review tools, techniques, and standard operating procedures that NISC partners in the homeland security, emergency management, public safety, first responder, and healthcare preparedness communities use to facilitate and manage information sharing. For more information about the webinars series and the NISC, visit the NISC website at www.nisconsortium.org. To become a member of the NISC, click hereto join, membership is free for all users!

Speakers

Sean McSpaden |Executive Director | National Information Sharing Consortium

David Williamson | Counter-IED Training and Solutions Section Chief |Office for Bombing Prevention |Department of Homeland Security | National Protection & Programs Directorate

Important Links

The NISC’s Mission

We bring together data owners, custodians, and users from all public safety fields and all sectors to leverage efforts to improve information sharing. We aim to help save lives, better protect property, and build a safer, more secure nation.

Senate Committee Advances DHS Undersecretary Nomination

The nomination of Christopher Krebs to become undersecretary–national protection and programs at the Department of Homeland Security was approved late yesterday by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  As senior official in the unit, Mr. Krebs has been performing the duties of the vacant post, which oversees the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD).  He previously was director–cybersecurity policy at Microsoft Corp. and worked at DHS as a policy adviser during the George W. Bush administration. – Courtesy TR Daily

Lawmakers Introduce Non-Emergency Mobile Number Bill

Reps. Susan W. Brooks (R., Ind.) and Anna G. Eshoo (D., Calif.) today introduced the National Non-Emergency Mobile Number Act (HR 5700), which would direct the FCC to take steps to facilitate the creation of a unified wireless short code for critical, but non-emergency, situations on highways.

“This commonsense, bipartisan bill ensures our 911 telecommunicators can focus on responding quickly and efficiently to phone calls reporting time-sensitive and urgent emergency matters,” said Rep. Brooks. “When people are traveling from state to state, the short non-emergency number people call to report an instance deserving of attention but may not classify as an emergency varies across state lines. Designating a code for this specific use promotes a more cohesive and effective public safety response. This bill will make it easier for travelers to contact public safety officials when reporting non-emergency situations and enables our 911 telecommunicators to focus on helping people who are dealing with an emergency.”

“In an interconnected nation, it is essential that we have a streamlined communication system across all states,” said Rep. Eshoo. “The National Non-Emergency Mobile Number Act simplifies travelers’ access to assistance in non-dire times, regardless of what state they’re in and eases unnecessary call traffic to 911. I’m proud to partner with Rep. Brooks on this straightforward legislation that will allow emergency call centers to focus on urgent matters and save the lives of those in danger.”

“Currently, there are at least eighteen different wireless short codes in operation across 29 states throughout the country,” according to a news release on the bill. “Mobile wireless non-emergency numbers primarily used on highways allow individuals, especially the traveling public, to quickly and easily contact public safety officials (typically state highway patrols) in critical times of need that do not exactly rise to the emergency level, such as car malfunctions. These numbers shift unnecessary calls away from 911 systems to help with congestion and allow emergency call centers, or public safety answering points (PSAPs), to focus on more significant matters.” It added that the bill “would help consolidate the multiple numbers existing today, thereby reducing traveler confusion and hastening response times.”

“I applaud Representatives Brooks and Eshoo for introducing the National Non-Emergency Mobile Number Act,” said FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly. “This is a commonsense bill that will bring uniformity to wireless short codes used today by states to redirect non-emergency calls on the highway away from 9-1-1 call centers and to state highway patrols. Just as we have one, unified number to call in times of need, it is logical to have one unified short code to call when travelers see car malfunctions or suspected drunk drivers along the highway. This bill is an important first step in eliminating traveler confusion and potentially to saving lives.”- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com