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BAPCO-Avaya eCall event outlines impact of new legislation on emergency services

Today, Avaya and BAPCO hosted a workshop for over 70 delegates on the eCall legislation at its UK headquarters in Guildford.

The event, which was one of the first in the UK to explore the implications of the eCall service, was attended by representatives of emergency services from across the country, central and local government, Highways England, roadside assistance organisations and British car manufacturers.

eCall (Emergency Call) is an EU directive that the UK Government and Public Safety Answering Point must comply with by October next year. It involves a service whereby in the event of a vehicle accident, telemetry data is automatically sent to the emergency services giving the accurate location of the incident, as well as any relevant information regarding the vehicle or it occupants. Falling into the true definition of multi-channel contact center, eCall adds a new dimension to interaction with emergency services as it will be the first time these services have access to a Global Positioning System reference communicating the exact location of the incident.

With the Department of Health requiring that ambulance services reach 75% of life-threatening calls within eight minutes, the use of the eCall service will undoubtedly help reduce the time it takes for ambulance services to reach the scene of the incident.

In order to facilitate this interaction, the UK emergency services need to upgrade their infrastructures and update their existing voice-only contact centers in such a way as to accommodate this new ‘channel’ and comply with the first global mandate for the connected car.

Using its eCall solution which was demonstrated at the event, Avaya is able to address these needs and support the emergency services in the deployment of this new service that could save thousands of lives every year.

Speaking at the event, Geoff Naldrett , CEO,  BAPCO said: “eCall can clearly help lessen the number of single vehicle collisions where casualties lie hidden for days or hours. But, and this is a big but, eCall will not just happen. The emergency services need to prepare for the many new service elements they need to deliver. For example, eCall for the first time will require the call take and dispatcher to make a value judgment not only on what they can hear, but also what they can see in terms of data in front of them – and this will require in-depth training. It’s great to see all parties involved coming together now, to try to make sure eCall works for the UK.”

Steve Rafferty, Managing Director of Avaya UK added: “eCall will for the first time give the emergency services an accurate GPS location of an incident. It will tell rescuers prior to arrival vehicle details and other information essential for an effective rescue plan. This really can reduce rescue times and save lives. eCall is truly a great initiative and we’re delighted to be part of the solution, helping emergency services control rooms to be ready for it.”

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