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Covia Labs Launches Communications Interoperability Software Platform for Public Safety
Alert & Respond™ Enables Police, Fire Fighters and Other First Responders to Securely Integrate Smartphones and Tablets into Operations
Covia Labs, Inc. has announced the launch of Alert & Respond, a new software platform that offers a cost-effective way for public safety to integrate consumer smartphones and commercially available devices into their operations. Alert & Respond greatly expands the command & control and situational awareness capabilities available to public safety personnel beyond what is available with voice-only communication.
“Today’s commercial smartphones have a host of features useful for public safety, from the ability to geotag photos and video, to using GPS to locate an officer in the field,” said Ron Levine, chief of the Foothill-De Anza College District Police, which has participated in the beta testing of the platform. “Unfortunately, there has been no solution that enables public safety to utilize all of these features optimally.”
Alert & Respond is a unique software platform that merges the data and functionality found on multiple, diverse devices and equipment into one, fully integrated system. Regardless of hardware, operating system or platform, Alert & Respond creates a single interoperable system. A designated administrator or multiple users can manage and utilize the resources of all devices on the platform.
“As the debate continues in Washington, D.C. about the proposed public safety broadband network, Alert & Respond offers an immediate solution to enable the use of sophisticated broadband devices,” said David Kahn, CEO of Covia Labs. “Since Alert & Respond creates an independent and encrypted communications system, it can operate across existing carrier networks to supplement existing radio equipment and private networks, with greater coverage and richer media.”
Alert & Respond enables public safety to utilize all of the features of increasingly advanced, commercially available smartphones, including voice, video, compass, GPS, memory, storage and maps. It gives dispatchers, commanders and frontline first responders the media-rich integrated information they need in emergency situations to carry out efficient, highly coordinated responses that save lives while greatly reducing the likelihood of life-threatening situations. Capabilities of the system include National Incident Management System (NIMS) administration, push to talk functionality, message playback, talk-around capabilities when out of range of a cell tower, “Blue Force” tracking of the real-time location of personnel, text messaging, sharing of images, and GPS. All voice, text and images are geotagged with precise GPS locations and, along with Blue Force tracking of personnel and vehicles, are available to commanders during operations and after-action reviews.
By using Alert & Respond, an agency can permit other agencies to join an operation, providing them with the software and credentials to participate. All existing information on the operation is automatically synchronized to their PC’s and mobile devices so that they are instantly up-to-date and can immediately contribute.
“Alert & Respond has provided us with the means to better communicate when events are taking place within our jurisdiction,” said Chief Levine. “For example, we had an event on campus with a major international political figure. Alert & Respond enabled all of our officers to have a comprehensive view of the security operations in real-time, while also intercommunicating with other federal and international security details operating at the event.”
For more information, see http://www.covialabs.com/
- Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via Covia Labs, 2/7/12)