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New Lafayette Parish 911 technology allows callers to video chat operator

In Lafayette Parish, getting the right emergency responders to you in enough time just got a little easier.

Imagine being able to video chat with a 911 operator to show them your emergency rather than telling them about it. Well that’s now a reality for Lafayette Parish thanks to a new software called Carbyne.

“It’s an advantage point that we never had before.”

Getting crucial information during an emergency isn’t always an easy task.

Craig Stansbury is the director of Lafayette Parish 911. He says, “Mostly all people call on a cell phone. Well when you call in on a cell phone your exact location is not given, your phone number and name is given and you’d be surprise how many people don’t know where they’re at or don’t know exactly where they are.”

To make improvements, Lafayette Parish 911 purchased Carbyne and is the first in the state to use it.

When you call 911 you’ll first hear,”911 where’s your emergency?”

Then, depending on the situation, the operator will ask to send you a text to see what you’re seeing.

You have to quickly accept the software, hit download and within seconds your location will be sent to the operator and your phone’s camera and mic will be activated. It may seem like a tiny addition, but it can make a world of a difference to first responders.

Public information officer for Lafayette Fire Department Alton Trahan says, “Often times we don’t get the exact location by cell phone unless they give us the address and sometimes they panic so they may not be able to give it to us. This new technology will afford us with cell phone location.”

Once the video is sent to them, they can see what they’re responding to.

Trahan says, “If we get a visual, we can determine before hand, before we arrive let’s say we need an extra truck because we’re on the third floor we can send that additional resource often times we have to wait until we arrive on scene to make that judgement call.”

As responders’ excitement builds, they hope the community’s excitement does too.

Stansbury says, “This technology has been out there for the public through social media a lot and I think it’s very important to give people in the parish every tool possible to help them when they call 911.”

Stansbury tells News 15 this software cost them $25,000 and they believe it’s worth the lives it will help save.

There are fewer than 10 911 centers in the country that are using this technology.

If you don’t want to wait for an emergency to sign up for this tool click here to see if your phone qualifies and for directions to download.

Click here for information on Carbyne’s app.