Geofencing Informs COVID-19 Response

August 11, 2020 by Devin Culham

Geofencing Informs COVID-19 Response

The impacts of COVID-19 have stretched far and wide as individuals and communities grapple with new social and economic circumstances. Public safety agencies are just a few of the many essential workers who continue to tirelessly serve the needs of their communities amid a global pandemic.

Public safety agencies, like those in Rockwall, Texas, are navigating a new environment that presents unfamiliar occupational hazards. Thankfully, Rockwall public safety agencies can discern critical data that directly impacts the well-being of their officers, commanders, and personnel using technology.

"With all of the COVID-19 stuff that is going on, it's making a difference to the fact that the guys on the apparatus can see the notes," shared Rockwall Assistant Chief Brett Merritt. "The dispatchers are getting the information of people that are possibly infected, if they're self-quarantined, or if they've already tested positive."

Dispatchers can identify possible areas with COVID-19 cases to create visual perimeters using geofencing capabilities built into Rockwall’s computer aided dispatch (CAD) technology. Having this data available helps Rockwall’s fire and law enforcement agencies stay safe while being better prepared.

"If they're able to have that information and have it right there in front of them and see it and know if they're going into a situation that they need to take extra precautions on," Merritt said. "That is making a difference as far as that goes right now."

The use of geofencing in response to COVID-19 demonstrates Rockwall dispatchers' ability to utilize technology to fit the ever-changing and unpredictable nature of public safety. And the result has the potential to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus and potentially save lives.

"I think it's just timely and a safety concern that really benefits everybody," expressed Rockwall Public Safety and IT Manager John Bader. "Kudos to them, I would say, for identifying that they had the ability to make our communities and first responders safer."

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