New Service Translates Callers, Text Messages
FREDERICK, Md. –Frederick County will become the first county in Maryland to offer an enhanced 9-1-1 system. Starting Sept. 1, people who call or text Frederick County’s 9-1-1 center will find a range of improved capabilities, including language translation for over 170 languages and dialects, and precise location of mobile phone callers.
“Every person should be able to call 9-1-1 and know that help is on the way,” Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater said. “Improving access for everyone is essential, and this enhanced service is just one of the many ways Frederick County is growing into a more vibrant and inclusive community.”
The Frederick County Division of Emergency Management is partnering with Baltimore-based Convey911 to add a series of capabilities to support the division’s 9-1-1 specialists. With the new capabilities, staff will be able to deliver quicker, more accurate, more inclusive, and accessible 9-1-1 text and voice services to the residents of and visitors to Frederick County during emergency incidents. The improved capabilities include:
- Language interpretation for both parties in a 9-1-1 call or text conversation in over 170 languages and dialects, with automatic detection of the language. Census data show over 35,000 Frederick County residents speak a language other than English;
- Precise location of mobile devices contacting 9-1-1, in partnership with RapidSOS (latitude/longitude) and NextNav (vertical axis);
- Sending text messages requesting location tracking in an emergency to phones that did not directly dial 9-1-1. This can happen in cases of lost people, welfare checks, or when a call is transferred to 9-1-1 from 9-8-8 or a non-emergency line;
- Beginning Oct. 1, the County will activate ConveyConnect live interpretation service with over 22,000 public safety trained interpreters available to support over 350 languages and dialects, including sign language (ASL, SSL, SEE, PSE and Hungarian). After the initial roll-out to the 9-1-1 center, the County will make the critical capability available to public safety staff in the field, who need to directly communicate with residents and visitors they are serving.
Convey911’s patented process to securely and reliably remove language barriers to facilitate service delivery is initially being deployed to 9-1-1 services in Frederick County. Convey911 can also provide the same language translation services to other county agencies as needs are identified.