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Emergency Services See Improved Response Management Thanks to AI




Down the street, a fire erupts and sensors alert authorities before you dial the phone. Across the world, police officers leverage AI-powered imaging to protect citizens in a new way. AI is going to start appearing in more places that matter. Emergency services are leveraging AI tools to bolster staffing, intelligence, and response times to serve better and faster. How does this manifest in each sector to deliver people the aid they need as quickly and efficiently as possible?

1. Law Enforcement

Police officers are working in unprecedented crime climates. Incident types are shifting, and everything is digital. AI improves response management for law enforcers in a medley of ways.

Investigative Support and Data Documentation

Paperwork is the bane of law enforcement workforces. Automating this process with AI relieves tedious work hours from staff, leaving them more time to be attentive to victims and solve cases. AI’s natural language processing makes it adept at sifting through massive amounts of text, providing actionable and coherent insights for emergency response personnel.

AI can also work alongside investigators to identify crime patterns and solve cases by noticing hotspots or cross-referencing city databases for background checks. The technology can also track cellphone signals and serial numbers to scan activity, so long as it is employed ethically. These use cases have been used for theft prevention measures in retail outlets, allowing police to report to the scene faster with automated alerts.

Predictive Policing Analytics and Prevention

Machine learning algorithms train from a police department’s history and compare that to the world’s crime trends. Split-second determinations permit officers to have a working crime forecast to prepare for and defend against unique threats accordingly. 

The investigative support will translate to courtrooms as AI might become pivotal in sentencing and rehabilitation efforts. The vast databases provide more accurate, less biased decisions and curate recovery methods to lower recidivism. It requires supervision over data stores to eliminate anomalies and hallucinations, but it is possible.

Smart Video Surveillance

First responders use AI to gather real-time footage and analytics to shorten response times. Local events like parades and protests should have additional support with remote AI video surveillance. Additionally, smart video uses facial recognition. 

The technology is still growing in accuracy, and the ethics surrounding likeness scanning for AI learning is up for debate. However, deploying intelligent cameras makes tracking missing persons and threat actors easier.

2. Fire and Rescue Services

Firefighters have spent years perfecting a swift exit to locations in dire need. How could AI make their response management even cleaner, quicker and safer?

Intelligent Dispatch Systems

Determining how many responders to send on a job is a balancing act. Dispatch teams must consider weather, geography, and compliance when packing vehicles with supplies and staff. Stressful circumstances cause human error and oversights, but it would happen less frequently with AI.

In operations centers, AI works best in tandem with the human element. AI helps human operators allocate resources responsibly, leveraging smart systems to ensure everything is accounted for, no matter where you are.

Robot-Powered Search and Rescue

Drones fly over an area destroyed by a fire and debris is everywhere. AI and geographic information systems (GISs) scan thick piles of rubble and infrastructure to quickly identify people needing help. AI determinations could deliver solutions for extricating them safely.

Entities like the U.S. Coast Guard benefit greatly from AI-powered aerial devices to trace mariner distress signals without wasting excess fuel on the wrong trajectory. Remote crafts with AI knowledge travel to those in trouble, delivering essentials and beginning recovery.

3. Emergency Medical Services

EMS personnel have a lot to juggle in a speeding car. They must stabilize patients amid frenzied explanations about what happened, keeping them stable long enough to reach the hospital. The likelihood of safe delivery improves with AI’s help.

Triage and Diagnosis

Emergency rooms are chock-full of people in distress, usually assigned long wait times while personnel determine condition status. AI triage scans a patient’s medical history against existing knowledge to find an ideal treatment for their body and circumstances. 

The technology looks at biomarkers against clinical decision trees for increased awareness of the patient’s condition. It allows for personalized medical care by considering more factors than an emergency doctor’s potentially limited knowledge of an individual. 

Telemedicine and Virtual Assistants

AI-powered virtual assistance and telemedicine are even more popular for prescreening patients, doing tedious documentation tasks and providing initial medical advice. The practical and emotional implications of this in emergency services are profound, as it makes people feel more tended to while they wait for doctors. It provides some answers almost immediately while expediting the check-in process.

4. Natural Disaster Management

The climate crisis is exacerbating the frequency and severity of extreme weather. Geographies that have never seen snow are experiencing power outages due to storms. Desert climates see sandstorms lengthen in average duration. Private and government-founded natural disaster response services can use AI for early warning systems.

Disaster Detection and Alerts

AI is successful in melding with meteorological resources to forecast disastrous weather events. Sensors, satellites and more recognize region-specific seismic response and precipitation patterns. 

Overseeing entities then notify constituents how to prepare safely, and many can even send automated emergency notifications to connect residences with best actions through mediums like social media chatbots. The algorithm could predict everything from an earthquake to a budding hurricane.


New technologies would even be able to curb stress from evacuations. Researchers performed simulations to see how well AI could minimize traffic inundation by predicting which areas would flood the fastest. The models worked with 98% precision, revealing an expedient way to evacuate citizens with less stress.

5. Emergency Animal Health Services

You have seen how EMS teams employ AI to help people, but what about animals? They can get into critical situations on roadsides or hiking trails. What about if a wildfire strikes your ranch and you must worry about your livestock? How can AI get emergency veterinary care out in time to these sometimes remote locations?

Regional Awareness

Citizens can notify park rangers and local departments to monitor susceptible species and areas. AI is critical for immediate diagnosis. It is more effective at identifying treatment options while preventing the spread of biological hazards and infectious diseases transmitted through animals. 

Endangered Species and Conservation

AI might have an unexpected role in veterinary emergency response by conserving endangered species. AI can locate, track and study even the most elusive animals that need protecting. Conservationists and emergency veterinary teams can better serve their animals with geofencing and infrared cameras. At Lake Itezhi-Tezhi in Zambia, systems collect data while eliminating overfishing and ivory poaching by over 50% in the region.

AI to the Rescue

Emergency services are in a new erratic era of care. The COVID-19 pandemic shifted how people interact with medical assistance. Digitization has altered how much crime happens in cyber spheres instead of physical spaces. Everyone has to scale operations to cover bases holistically, and AI can help. 

AI-powered emergency response improves daily as the technology’s expertise grows, leading to a future of fewer disasters, healthier people and safer communities.

Zac Amos is a tech writer who focuses on artificial intelligence. He is also the Features Editor at ReHack, where you can read more of his work.