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Tech firm's AI mapping helps first responders get to people easier, faster

Pure Wireless is using new-age technology to solve a long-established problem in the emergency services field. "The key thing I'm so excited about is saving lives," the co-founder says.


Dain Bolling and Elliott Singer with Naples-based Pure Wireless believe 911locate.ai has the potential to be used nationwide.
Dain Bolling and Elliott Singer with Naples-based Pure Wireless believe 911locate.ai has the potential to be used nationwide.
Photo by Stefania Pifferi
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When you’re having a medical emergency, time is of the essence. According to the American Heart Association, for example, your chance of survival while waiting for emergency medical services during a cardiac emergency decreases by 10% every minute that goes by without receiving CPR.

A Naples tech company, Pure Wireless, was already working to address that issue — and help public safety services respond to emergencies quicker — by fixing cellular dead spots in high-occupancy residential and commercial buildings and conducting radiofrequency testing within buildings to ensure that first responders can communicate via two-way radio. 

But it saw more that could be done.

“What we found is a gap in the market,” says Elliott Singer, co-founder and CEO of Pure Wireless.

When someone calls 911, the technology already exists to pinpoint the building from which they are calling. (It’s called Enhanced 911, or E911.) But the information stops there.

“The 911 operators do not know where they are in the building,” says Singer. “It became obvious to us that these folks are blind. They don’t have enough information about the buildings where people are calling from.”

That’s where Pure Wireless’s new service, 911locate.ai, comes in. For about a year, the company’s software engineers worked to develop a system to upload building plans into the E911 and GIS systems used by public-safety departments around the country. Doing this helps operators locate exactly where a 911 caller is in a building, and then direct responders as to which elevator, staircase or entrance they should use to reach them.

Pure Wireless is using artificial intelligence as a tool to extract and input the data from paper building plans that might be decades old. “AI is part of our process, but we’re not using it for anything other than it helps speed the process of getting the data into a format that can be turned into a floorplan,” says Dain Bolling, cofounder and CTO of Pure Wireless.

“We’re going on site and we’re verifying all this data — where the fire extinguishers are, how you travel through the building, entrances, exits, AED devices,” continues Bolling. “We’re giving 911 operators the power to be more effective and to get help to you faster within your own building.”

The company conducted a successful pilot program in Collier County and is now working on expanding that and branching out into Lee County, too. Instead of the counties footing the bill, Pure Wireless is working with local condominiums, assisted living facilities and other high-occupancy commercial buildings to opt into participation. Buildings pay a one-time up-front charge of $500 per floor and then an annual fee of $500 per building to keep the information up to date.

“We’re getting a good reception, and we’ve tried to price it very modestly for building owners,” says Singer. “So we’re very pleased at the reception to this.”

Elliott Singer and Dain Bolling say they made a significant investment in 911locate.ai.
Photo by Stefania Pifferi

It took a “substantial” financial investment to get 911locate.ai up and running, but since it’s a service within an already successful company, the financial pressures aren’t as great as if it were a standalone startup. And raking in the revenue isn’t the main goal of the new service, officials say. (The company declines to disclose the total investment in 911locate.ai.)

“We feel like over time this will be well received and we’ll recoup our investment,” says Singer. “Hopefully it’s going to make some money, but most importantly, and what we’re really so focused on, is that it’s going to save lives. That is what all this is about, getting the first responders to the situation faster than it’s ever been done before. And that’s why we priced it where we priced it, to make it attractive.”

The potential for the 911locate.ai service is almost limitless, with applications beyond buildings for mapping out locations of AED devices and other information at places like golf clubs, beach clubs and marinas. Expansion of the service geographically wouldn’t be difficult.

“From a growth standpoint, technically we designed the system so it works with every 911 center and GIS system in the nation,” says Bolling. “There’s no restraint on the technical stuff, because we’re formatting, for lack of a better term, our documents to meet the GIS systems which are the same across all the 911 centers.”

Expansion into Sarasota County and the St. Pete area is a possibility down the road. But there’s no rush.

“We know how to scale a business,” says Singer, who as founder and former chairman and CEO of A+ Communications grew the company to more than $125 million in annual revenue and led it through a successful IPO and merger with Metrocall. “But our focus at the moment is Collier and Lee counties. We want to just do a fabulous job in these counties, and then we will look to broaden the business.

“The key thing I’m so excited about is saving lives,” he continues. “I’ve said it 15 times, and I’ll say it 15,000 more, because that’s what this is all about.”

 

author

Beth Luberecki

Nokomis-based freelance writer Beth Luberecki, a Business Observer contributor, writes about business, travel and lifestyle topics for a variety of Florida and national publications. Her work has appeared in publications and on websites including Washington Post’s Express, USA Today, Florida Trend, FamilyVacationist.com and SmarterTravel.com. Learn more about her at BethLuberecki.com.

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