Role playing next generation 9-1-1: Sensemaking with social media in public-safety answering points

Rob Grace, Andrea Tapia, Jess Kropczynski, Eric Obeysekare, Shane Halse, Julien Coche, Aurélie Montarnal, Mike Beagles, Fred Fonseca

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


For over a decade, research has suggested that social media can enhance the situational awareness of emergency responders during a crisis. Rarely, however, do studies examine the sensemaking processes of emergency responders by which situational awareness is achieved. We examine sensemaking in a Public-Safety Answering Point (PSAP) through role plays with 9-1-1 telecommunicators that imagine how social media analysts can contribute to sensemaking processes among 9-1-1 call takers, dispatchers, and emergency responders. These role plays suggest social media can address information gaps that emerge when 9-1-1 callers fail to provide critical information and vice versa, suggesting social media enhances situational awareness only when integrated into sensemaking processes that synthesize information across multiple, incomplete, but complementary data sources. This synthesis, however, requires cooperative information gathering and sharing among call takers, dispatchers, and social media analysts that PSAPs can coordinate using common interpretive frameworks and common information spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 52nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2019
EditorsTung X. Bui
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780998133126
StatePublished - 2019
Event52nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2019 - Maui, United States
Duration: Jan 8 2019Jan 11 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
ISSN (Print)1530-1605


Conference52nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

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