Miami Police unveiled on Thursday a new 911 system that is designed to eliminate any question about where a person calling for help actually is, even if they can’t talk.
The system, Rapid SOS, can pinpoint exactly where a 911 caller is located, even if they are on the move, and can give operators an altitude read-out.
"Rapid SOS uses the technology on your phone so the GPS, the Wi-Fi, the Bluetooth technology, and it gives us more specific location where you are located," said Luz Ponce with Miami Police.
The system can follow you along on your cell phone as you're moving, with red dots for where you were and a green dot where you are right now.
"So if you’re moving it will a keep a trace to tell where you have been. As long as the 911 is open we are able to get updates and pings on where they are located," Ponce said.
Miami Police believe the system will help them with the 1,200 calls they receive daily. The new system has already helped police find a boater under duress and taking on water who didn’t know where he was.
"We were able to use Rapid SOS, keeping him connected to 911 to pin his location and send the Marine Patrol and Coast Guard to where he was at and find him," Ponce said.
The family of long-time mathematics professor David Hertzig said they wish the system would have been in place when the 85-year-old died last year. Hertzig's family said they still don't know exactly what happened the day he was on his bike and heading to teach math at Miami Dade College. He went down on the border of Miami and Coral Gables and died several days later.
"It's really hard for me to let it go because my dad was such a phenomenal person," his daughter, Amie Hertzig, told NBC 6.
A report by the Miami Citizens Investigative Panel indicated that the 911 call first went to a nearby department, then to Miami and 24 minutes had gone by before the first officer arrived to help Hertzig. Miami police records showed the call was dispatched just one minute after they got it.
Hertzig's daughter said a witness had stopped but left before police made it there.
"In this story if they had gotten here in time a lot of things would have been answered, most likely, that we still don’t know," Hertzig said. "I really wish that technology would have been implemented already when this situation occurred. It would have saved me a lot of grief I believe."
"Had they gotten that alert in a timely fashion they would have been here when the witness who had the most information about this incident was still on the scene," family attorney Todd Michaels said. "The other witnesses say he was here for 15, upwards of 20 minutes."