There are numerous kinds of emergency services, but all comprise of aspects that promote health and the safety of the public. Emergency and rescue organizations are involved in promoting awareness and prevention programs within the community, to assist people in detecting, avoiding, and reporting emergencies efficiently. Communication is one of the most important aspects of emergency services. It makes big difference when it comes to saving lives during emergencies, because poor communication implies the start of the failure in any emergency rescue mission (Coyle and Mary, 1). Therefore, communication is one area that has attracted significant attention, particularly on how to improve communication not only during the course of emergency missions, but also before or after the outbreak of emergencies. To the end, the paper will be focusing on discussing the modern communication strategies, as new and upcoming aspects of emergency services. Particular, attention will be placed on the use of the internet and mobile phone services in dealing with emergencies.
Internet and Emergency Services
Since its creation, the internet has gained popularity in almost all areas. In fact, it is one of the factors that people cannot do without in the modern society. Its importance is, particularly, remarkable in the field of communication. In relation to emergency services, the significance of the use of the internet in enhancing communication is undisputable (Eve and Marc, 56). The internet has not only improved and made communication easier, but also increased the speed of communication, one of the most crucial factors in emergency rescue missions. Besides, the internet offers a variety of ways through which people can contact the relevant organization in the course of an emergency. Especially, the internet supports the TTY-dial 106, SMS relay, Video relay, internet relay, ordinary phone call, automation of security alerts, and mobile emergency services (Coyle and Mary, 1).
106 TTY Emergency Service
The 106 service marked the beginning of the evolution of communication in emergency services following the introduction of the internet. It was first nationwide text-based emergency service in the world. The service, which is available 24 hours, allows the users to access police, fire, and ambulance services at any given time. The TTY is linked to a fixed line, and therefore, callers can be located by emergency service whenever a call is made (Eve and Marc, 56).
Emergency Calls through Internet Relay
In case of an emergency, people can reach emergency services through the internet relay by requesting triple zero (000), which is the voice emergency service. These calls are always accorded priority over other calls through the internet relay. However, callers are required to provide their specific location because the call cannot be automatically located by the emergency service. However, calls through internet relay may not be reliable as the TTY because the internet is likely to be inaccessible sometimes (Coyle and Mary, 1).
SMS are also gaining popularity in connection to emergency services. It is possible for people to seek emergency services by simply sending a text message to the number provided by the emergency service organizations. The sender is required to state the nature of emergency services required as well as the specific location. However, this is the least reliable ways of communication, in case of an emergency, and it should be utilized when all other options are not available (Eve and Marc, 56).
Face-face communication has significantly evolved since the creation of the internet. With the help of such creations as Skype, it is possible for individuals to contact emergency service and communicate one-on-one. Emergency service providers are always alert for such calls, and they respond immediately the calls come in. This is most efficient, especially when giving the location where the emergency services are required (Audrey et al. 2).
Automation of emergency security alerts
Unlike in the past, it is possible to monitor the possibility of an emergency event occurring. This technology is commonly applied in detecting natural disasters, especially tornados, earthquakes, floods, and many other natural calamities. For instance, the most recent earthquakes that affected the United States, Japan, and many other countries could be detected early enough to issues warnings to people living around areas that were likely to be affected. This technology has helped save thousands of lives, which could have not be possible if it was unavailable today (Erica).
Mobile emergency centers
Many emergency service organizations have established mobile emergency centers, which are usually located around the areas that have been affected. This has contributed to improvement of service delivery through reducing the time involved in moving to and fro the emergency location in search various resources. The United States is among the leading countries in promoting mobile emergency centers, through introducing the same within all governmental institutions (Wright & Hinson, 27).
The introduction of the internet is seen as one the most important discoveries in the modern society. Specifically, the internet has been of great importance in emergency service delivery, through improving communication among the service delivery organizations as well as between these organizations and those in need of help following an emergency incident. From the above discussion, it is evident that the connection between the internet and emergency services is an important new and upcoming aspect of emergency service delivery.
Audrey Glowacki, F; Richard Unger, L; Edward Fries, F; and August Kwitowski, J. Using the Internet to train emergency command center personnel, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/UserFiles/works/pdfs/uitte.pdf
Coyle Diane and Mary Beth, C. The role of mobiles in disasters and emergencies. GSM Association, 2005. Retrieved from http://www.enlightenmenteconomics.com/about diane/assets/disasterreport.pdf
Erica Goldfine. Best Practices: the use of social media throughout emergency and disaster relief, 2011. Retrieved from http://www.american.edu/soc/communication/upload/Erica Goldfine.pdf
Eve Gruntfest and Marc Weber. Internet and emergency management: prospects for the future. International Journal of mass Emergencies and Disasters, Vol. 16(1), 55-72, 2009
Wright, D., & Hinson, M. (2009). An Updated Look at the Impact of Social Media on Public Relations Practice. Public Relations Journal, 3(2), 27.