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INSIGHTS

5 reasons to make AI a part of first responders’ repository

5 reasons to make AI a part of first responders’ repository
AI, intelligent cameras, and video analytics can arm first responders with actionable information.
The effectiveness of first responders has a significant role in deciding the overall impact of an incident. But reports across the US and other countries have shown that responding to emergency calls instantly is difficult because of high volume and low staffing. Unfortunately, time is crucial for first responders, and if they cannot reach the location with the right information on time, their effectiveness decreases drastically.
 
This is where artificial intelligence and video analytics can play a critical role. We are already seeing AI-enabled video surveillance cameras becoming ubiquitous in city surveillance. For instance, Dubai recently developed “Oyoon,” an intelligent city surveillance system that can distribute police patrols without human intervention.
 
According to Deloitte, a recent study found that smart technologies such as AI could help cities reduce crime by 30 to 40 percent and reduce response times for emergency services by 20 to 35 percent.  The same study found that cities have started to invest in real-time crime mapping, crowd management, and gunshot detection. Cities use facial recognition and biometrics, in-car and body cameras for police, drones, aerial surveillance, crowdsourcing crime reporting, and emergency apps to ensure public safety. 
 
This article explores how AI-enabled surveillance systems can help first responders improve speed and efficiency.
  1. Better situational awareness

First responders can make a more significant difference in any situation if they have a fair idea of what exactly has happened. They may be attending a distress call from someone at their home or a public place, but it’s always better to understand what to expect than waste precious time figuring things out when once they reach.
 
Surveillance cameras at different locations can provide real-time information about an incident and the current situation. But this can be even more powerful if the camera is enabled with analytics that can capture license plates, facial recognition matched with a watchlist, detect weapons, or even actions like someone falling down.
  1. Facial recognition for proactive measures

Knowing what has happened before reaching a location is extremely useful. What can make this even better is knowing whom to deal with. If the security forces already have a record of someone who is known to create trouble, they can have strategies to deal with them. Recognizing the person will also help the first responders identify the offender in all the confusion.
 
Facial recognition can match people against watchlists of known offenders. This may not be useful in every case as not everyone is not and shouldn’t be part of any watchlist. But in the instances where it works, first responders will be going in with a great advantage.
  1. Assisting disaster management

First responders are often part of disaster rescue efforts. This could include dealing with fire incidents, floods, tsunamis, landslides, etc. Often these incidents escalate quickly, making it difficult for anyone to keep things under control.
 
Video analytics leveraging surveillance camera footage can help first responders know the extent of an incident and the risk involved. They can also help in detecting signs of an impending incident by analyzing live footage in real time. For example, knowing the source of flooding can help first responders quickly figure out ways to mitigate threats and resolve the crisis.
  1. Tracking individuals and groups

Security forces can monitor and track people or groups, whether they are on foot on in vehicles, using AI-enabled solutions. While tracking people may include making use of attributes such as clothing color, license plate recognition solutions can help in monitoring vehicles.
 
Intelligent algorithms can also watch out for suspicious behavior like loitering that can indicate a threat. This means that first responders can be ready even before an incident happens or act proactively to prevent the incident from happening at all.
  1. Monitor social media for threat indicators

This is not a part of traditional surveillance, but social media monitoring has become an inevitable part of security now. Unfortunately, you cannot do this manually. With AI-enabled solutions, security forces can remain constantly aware of any kind of threat indications like hate speech, suggestions of potential violence, terrorism, etc.
 
Other issues that AI can help to handle include cyberbullying and inappropriate and potentially harmful content.  

Conclusion

First responders require as much assistance as you can provide them to make an impact when incidents happen. However, traditional tools are not enough as they are mostly reactive in nature. AI can be of great use at this juncture, as intelligent cameras and video analytics can arm first responders with actionable information.
 
For the physical security industry, AI has become inevitable. Camera manufacturers increasingly recognize the need for smart devices that can give more value to their customers. After all, what’s the point of security systems if they cannot prevent an incident?
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