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Comtech Launches AI-Powered Solution to Tackle 911 Call Center Staffing Shortages

The technology, dubbed SmartAssist™, is designed to handle non-emergency calls without human intervention, potentially revolutionizing how 911 centers manage their increasing call volumes.

Comtech has unveiled a new artificial intelligence-backed solution aimed at alleviating the growing problem of staffing shortages in emergency call centers across the United States. The technology, dubbed SmartAssist™, is designed to handle non-emergency calls without human intervention, potentially revolutionizing how 911 centers manage their increasing call volumes.

SmartAssist uses AI chatbots programmed with conversational design to understand and respond to callers’ natural language, effectively triaging and resolving low-priority, non-emergency inquiries. This innovation comes at a crucial time when Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) and Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) are grappling with unprecedented staffing challenges.

Jeff Robertson, President of Comtech’s Terrestrial & Wireless Networks Segment, emphasized the critical nature of the problem SmartAssist aims to solve. “One of the most critical challenges ECCs face today is staffing shortages, which can cause delays in 9-1-1 call answering times,” Robertson stated. He added that SmartAssist “solves call volume challenges and staffing shortages by streamlining 9-1-1 workflows with new AI-backed capabilities that can effectively handle most non-emergency administrative calls without telecommunicator assistance.”

The new solution boasts a range of capabilities, including voice and chatbot functionalities, text message handling, form creation, foreign language support, and performance metrics. Comtech is currently conducting pre-market trials with multiple agencies and Next Generation 911 customers across the U.S., integrating SmartAssist into PSAPs connected to the company’s NG911 networks.

SmartAssist is just the first offering in Comtech’s broader SmartNG portfolio, which aims to merge Next Generation 911 and AI solutions to optimize emergency call center operations. The company plans to expand this portfolio with additional AI-backed features such as language identification, transcription, translation, and advanced analytics.

One key advantage of SmartAssist is its ability to integrate with existing administrative phone lines without requiring changes to Call Handling Equipment. This means Comtech’s customers can potentially start benefiting from this staff augmentation tool immediately.

As emergency services continue to face increasing pressures from staffing shortages and growing call volumes, innovations like SmartAssist could play a crucial role in ensuring that critical emergency calls receive prompt attention while efficiently managing non-emergency inquiries. The success of this AI-powered solution could set a new standard for emergency response systems nationwide.

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Mansi Singh
Mansi is an Associate Content Strategist. She holds interest that centers around use of Gen AI in enhancing daily lives and she is dedicated to exploring the latest trends and tools in AI. She can be reached at mansi.singh@aimresearch.co
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