Life-saving high-tech emergency services feature succeeds with top firm’s help

by Sol Dolor17 Jul 2017
Russell McVeagh helped the New Zealand government launch the high-tech emergency services caller location feature, which has helped save lives since its rollout in May.

“Since the system was introduced, more than 145,000 genuine 111 calls have been made to emergency services and around 20% of these calls involved operators using the system to help them get more accurate information about a caller’s location,” Communications Minister Simon Bridges said in a statement.

Mei Fern Johnson, Russell McVeagh technology partner, led the firm’s team that worked on the contracts of the government with mobile network operators and emergency services providers. Johnson said that the firm is proud to have worked with the government on the nationally significant project.

Rolled out in May, the system helps identify a probable location for 111 calls, helping police, fire, and ambulance services respond more quickly in instances where callers are unable to speak, or have been cut-off before a location could be given, Police Minister Paula Bennett said.

“The system has been used to get help to an injured person on a farm, a motorcycle crash victim, people who are distressed or potentially suicidal, people experiencing family violence, a person who had spotted a fire in a rural area, and people experiencing medical emergencies,” Bennett said.

In addition to working on the contracts for the new system, Russell McVeagh’s information and privacy specialists also assisted the government in the effort to safeguard callers' personal information and amendments to the Telecommunications Information Privacy Code 2003, which the privacy commissioner amended to ensure compliance with the Privacy Act 1993.

Related stories:
Top lawyer joins healthcare company board
‘R U OK?’ asks top firm