Grant County’s 911 communications center enhances call handling platform

emergency communications

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The Multi Agency Communications Center (MACC 911) serving Grant County in the Columbia Basin has enhanced its emergency communications system in Washington state, becoming the first agency in the state to launch Carbyne APEX.  

The Next Generation 9-1-1 call management software gives MACC 911 greater communication capabilities, including GPS, live video, text-to-chat and real-time translation. 

“Seconds matter when responding to emergencies,” said MACC 911 director DT Donaldson.  

“The technology that we now have with Carbyne APEX will improve safety and save lives because of our ability to answer priority calls, accurately and swiftly locate the people in need, and even view, through video, the situations that safety personnel are going to.” 

With the Carbyne APEX NG911 cloud native call handling platform, MACC 911 gains smartphone-friendly capabilities to respond to callers through channels they are used to using, including chat and video.  

Pinpoint capabilities  

The company says that the NextGen technology gives staff greater ability to pinpoint where people are calling from, assess emergencies and even discern between callers requiring assistance and bystanders reporting an emergency.  

The artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technology helps staff reduce call-wait times and improve situational awareness and field responder safety. 

MACC 911 will also be among the first centers to deploy Carbyne’s new call triage feature, which allows staff to handle a surge in calls generated by events like highway accidents or wildfires when multiple people report the same event.  

Such surges often force other callers with different emergencies to be placed on hold, especially during times when the center is understaffed. 

Also, Carbyne’s live translation feature now enables MACC 911 staff to converse in real-time with callers whose first language is something other than English.  

Leveraging AI-powered technology, the system automatically translates both sides of the conversation while still allowing staff to hear a caller’s voice and tone to accurately assess the emergency. 

Through live translation, the time to respond to callers drops by several minutes because staff no longer have to connect to a third-party translation specialist. 

Helping high-stress periods 

“Working in emergency communications can be very rewarding, but it can also be stressful, especially for centers that struggle with staffing and recruitment,” said Amir Elichai, Carbyne CEO.  

“With this advanced technology, centers like MACC 911 can mitigate those high-stress periods so staff can do what attracts them to the profession – helping people in need.” 

In what is normally a 12- to 18-month process to install a NextGen technology platform, MACC 911 sought a faster timeline.  

Carbyne worked with staff to bring the system online in six months. 

“As a communications center serving multiple agencies throughout Grant County, a long deployment would require more resources and attention that should be focused on other areas of emergency management,” Donaldson added. 

“Because of Carbyne’s staff, who intimately understood our needs, we deployed the new capabilities in rapid time while also making sure our staff were comfortable with the new capabilities they now have at their fingertips.” 

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