In a world dominated by technology, apps are a part of our everyday lives.
They provide entertainment, useful tools, valuable information, and other resources that make life easier and more fun.
But for first responders, apps can help save lives.
The same way many of us use them to do our jobs, public safety professionals use apps during emergencies to gather urgent information, approach situations with more confidence, and help those in need.
If you’ve ever wondered what apps first responders use, follow along as we explore four commonly used by police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel.
1. 10-21 Police Phone
In the line of duty, police officers often give citizens a direct number to call if they need anything.
But as you can imagine, if an officer gives away their personal cell phone number, it could leave them open to calls when they’re off the clock.
The 10-21 Police Phone app solves this issue by allowing law enforcement officers to call citizens for free — without giving away their personal number.
The 10-21 is code for “make a phone call,” and it comes with a few key features that make communicating with the public easy and privacy-friendly for officers.
Typically, officers will dial “*67” before calling someone, purchase a separate prepaid phone for work use, or rely on their dispatch center to dial and connect numbers for them.
The problem with these strategies is that they require a lot of unwanted hassle. Not to mention, *67 calls are usually displayed as “Unknown Caller” on the recipient’s phone, which can scare people away from answering.
With 10-21, when an officer makes a call, the app displays a number with the local area code on the recipient’s phone, making them more likely to pick up.
It also allows citizens to send callback requests, giving officers the chance to respond on their own time rather than being flooded with phone calls.
Overall, this app is a convenient and economical way for law enforcement personnel to keep in touch with their community while respecting the privacy of their personal lives.
2. WISER Response
In a crisis situation where hazardous materials are at play, mishandling by emergency personnel can have dangerous consequences for both the victims and themselves.
Although they have extensive training for various emergencies, they may not be familiar with all types of hazardous materials and how best to deal with them.
Every second can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. Having accurate information on these substances can help responders minimize the risk of injury and save lives.
That’s where the WISER Response app comes in.
The National Institute of Health developed WISER Response to guide first responders through emergencies involving hazardous materials.
The name stands for Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders, and the app contains an easily accessible library of peer-reviewed information on these materials.
There’s guidance on identifying unknown substances, decision-making to protect everyone involved and the surrounding environment, access to chemical reactivity data, and much more.
The ActiveAlert app is a valuable tool emergency personnel can use to improve the speed and efficiency of their response.
Typically, responders will be out in the field and have to copy down dispatch information or enter addresses into their GPS on the fly.
But ActiveAlert automatically syncs up with Computer-Aided Dispatch or CAD systems, putting all the information a responder might need in one place.
They’ll receive CAD alerts, relevant photos and documents, automatically organized and easy-to-read dispatch information, and a call management system.
It also includes an Apple Push-powered chat system, and a real-time map responders can use to coordinate their response.
4. Bryx 911
Like ActiveAlert, Bryx 911 is a response optimization tool that gives responders all the tools and details they need to save lives more effectively.
The app includes a wide array of priceless features that can help in every step of the response process — from start to finish:
- View fire hydrants around the job, color-coded for flow rate and condition.
- Quickly view job information for prior calls to the same address.
- Attach site survey data to include entry access and hazardous materials information.
- Enhance team communication through real-time messaging and live location updates for users.
- View the exact job location within your district and a highlighted route from your station to the scene.
- Enable dispatching by agency or unit and view supplemental updates from CAD in real-time — without creating extra work for dispatchers.
- Configure internet dispatch radio streams and play them directly from Bryx 911. Some hardware required.
Apps like Bryx 911 empower responders to serve their communities with a greater sense of confidence and ultimately save lives.
The Power to Save Lives Right at Your Fingertips
We’ve talked about apps that first responders use to save lives. Now it’s your turn.
With the Rescu app, you can dispatch emergency services to your address or current location anywhere in the US with just two taps. No talking required.
Especially nowadays, the 911 system is rife with delays, staffing shortages, and dropped calls.
But with Rescu, you can have the fastest way to get help in an emergency right in your pocket. And the best part?
It’s first responder-approved!
“This app SAVES TIME. Rescu eliminates the lengthy phone call process to allow first responders to act swiftly.” —J. Cotten, Police Officer for the Texas Metro PD
“Rescu literally saves minutes in the dispatch of first responders to you & your loved ones.” —J. Ebstein, Firefighter-Paramedic in San Diego, CA
Protect yourself and your loved ones in just two taps with the Rescu app. Download today to get started!