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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Cincinnati Main Campus
  • Jessica Kropczynski
  • (513) 556-4858
  • Shane E Halse
  • William R Grace
  • Andrea Tapia
Award Date:07/10/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 149,395
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 149,395
  • FY 2020=$149,395
Start Date:07/15/2020
End Date:06/30/2021
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.070
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:SCC-PG: Help by Any Means: Sociotechnical Protocols for Multimedia Requests for Assistance to Next-Generation 911 Services
Federal Award ID Number:1951917
DUNS ID:041064767
Parent DUNS ID:041064767
Program:S&CC: Smart & Connected Commun
Program Officer:
  • Linda Bushnell
  • (703) 292-8950

Awardee Location

Street:University Hall, Suite 530
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Cincinnati
Street:College of Education, Criminal J
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

Between 1968, when 911 was designated as the national emergency number, and 1993, when 90% of Americans gained access to 911 services, public education campaigns taught citizens how to dial 9-1-1 for help during an emergency and dispatchers trained to process telephone calls from citizens in distress. Now, with the adoption of Next-Generation 911 (NG911) systems, how to “call” for help becomes more complex: citizens will be able to send text, image, and video data in SMS/MMS messages (and possibly even a social media channel) to 911 dispatchers who remain trained as call takers, not data analysts. While nascent computational methods exist to processes multi-channel, multimedia requests for assistance and recent fieldwork with 911 dispatchers at Public-Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) specify requirements to process these requests, the protocols necessary to coordinate uses of NG911 systems around multi-channel, multimedia data remain unspecified and much less standardized among emergency response officials and the public. These protocols include instructions for what citizens should include in multimedia 911 messages, PSAP procedures for coordinating citizen use of alternative 911 channels, and updated call taking and dispatch protocols facilitating collaborative sensemaking of multi-channel, multimedia information that enhances situational awareness among first responders during an emergency. This planning grant supports efforts to engage citizens, 911 dispatchers, and first responders to co-design Help by Any Means (HAM) protocols that will coordinate the use of multi-channel, multimedia requests for assistance during a crisis. These efforts will contribute to the transformation of emergency services around NG911 infrastructures, including the design of public service announcements educating citizens when and how to request help using alternative and multimedia 911 communications, as well as PSAP procedures for processing and integrating multimedia information in ways that enhance emergency response capacities. Additional contributions include understanding the social and technical implications of text-to-911 and social media-to-911 services as viewed by a range of stakeholders in the NG911 transition, as well as adduce insights into the design and management of data-driven public services beyond those of emergency response. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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