Trey Forgety, director of government affairs for the National Emergency Number Association, said claims that an Amazon Echo called 9-1-1 for a New Mexico woman under attack are outside of the technology's capabilities, and he would be "sort of surprised" if Alexa could respond the way officials described. "I have not heard of an Alexa device being a problem from a 9-1-1 perspective, because they do not have native telephone capabilities," he said.
Tazewell County, Ill., is redesigning its emergency response system as part of an unfunded state mandate to consolidate Public Safety Answering Points. The county plans to consolidate from four PSAPs to two.
AT&T won a victory Monday when Virginia became the first state to join the FirstNet national public safety system with Gov. Terry McAuliffe's signing of a letter of intent. Several other states have asked rival vendors for proposals to build their networks.
The US Forest Service Technology and Development Center in Missoula, Mont., is embracing new ways to protect firefighters, including a capsule that firefighters can swallow. The capsule tracks body temperature and caloric expenditure and relays information via Bluetooth.
The Akron, Ohio, Police Department will issue 100 body cameras to officers by the end of the month as part a plan to deploy more than 240 body cams. "We feel that is going to be significant to us being able to combat domestic violence and have higher prosecution rates and get a better result in the interactions that we have because of this evidence," said Akron Police Maj. Kenneth Ball.