KELLER -- Since its start in 1968, 911 has been the way to go if you have an emergency.
"What do people do when they need help? They call 911 in this country," said SirenGPS founder Paul Rauner.
That's not going to change, but now the phone line lifeline is getting some much-needed help of its own with the SirenGPS app. If you're on a cell phone like most people these days, your map apps can pinpoint your location almost exactly. Meanwhile, 911 is stuck trying to find your off cell tower pings.
"We had two callers that called from the same location in Westlake, a QT (QuikTrip)," NETCOM 9-1-1 Sergeant Warren Dudley said, talking about a 911 test done recently. "It actually pinged off a tower. The tower was about 2-1/2 miles south of where the gas station was."
A 2-1/2 mile radius just wasn't good enough for NETCOM 9-1-1, the emergency service provider for Keller, Westlake, Southlake, and Colleyville, which is why they're giving SirenGPS a try.
"The accuracy with the pin drop location. Even if the phone doesn't necessarily ring, this puts it on the map real fast, and we're able to have that information in our hands very quickly," Sgt. Dudley said.
The app, which won't replace 911, is free, and when you create an account you have the option to make it much easier on your potential.
"We're able to tell who they are, that they're requesting fire, police, or ambulance, emergency contact information, medical information, and allergies to things that we might use to treat them," Sgt. Dudley said.
If you're in a really bad situation, they can even text you.
All of this happens with just the click of a button.