Cambridge Becomes First City in State to Offer Residents New Emergency Communication App


Haven Mobile App

To help improve public safety response times and outcomes, the City of Cambridge today announced a new collaboration with RapidSOS, an advanced emergency technology start-up formed at M.I.T. and Harvard. Cambridge is the first city in Massachusetts and one of the first in the country to collaborate with RapidSOS to provide residents improved access to 9-1-1 and emergency services, as well as other features that will improve mobile security and family connectivity. 

Haven Mobile App

The RapidSOS Haven application connects a wireless caller with the correct local dispatch center anywhere in the contiguous U.S., while providing a variety of enhanced data to 9-1-1:

  • Voice and text messages (Haven speaks the text message to the dispatcher)
  • GPS location
  • Type of emergency
  • Relevant medical and demographic data  


RapidSOS was formed after its founding team experienced personal challenges with the dated infrastructure behind 9-1-1. An estimated 180 million[1] mobile 9-1-1 calls are made every year in the U.S. and most cannot be precisely located. The FCC estimates that 10,120 lives[2] are lost each year when callers can't be located. Over the last three years, engineers at RapidSOS developed the Haven technology in close collaboration with Cambridge Emergency Communications Department.

As part of the collaboration, Cambridge residents will have free access to the RapidSOS Haven app for 10 years, if they sign up for the app by June 27, 2018 at 

“RapidSOS will provide us with enhanced location and caller information, which can be immensely valuable in emergencies,” said Christina Giacobbe, Director of Emergency Communications and 9-1-1 in the City of Cambridge. “RapidSOS also routes alerts directly into our system, rather than to the Massachusetts State Police (where mobile calls in Cambridge are routed today). As a result, RapidSOS can help us improve response times and outcomes.”

“Cambridge holds a very special place in our hearts and in the history of our company,” said RapidSOS co-founder and CEO Michael Martin, a Harvard alumnus. “Cambridge is where we founded RapidSOS, spent the first two years developing our advanced emergency communication technology, and where we received an outpouring of expertise and support, including our first visit to a 9-1-1 dispatch center. This launch marks a transformation in access to emergency services not just in Cambridge or Massachusetts, but globally.”

The Haven app also includes access to RapidSOS Family Connect feature. For the first time, people can call 9-1-1 on behalf of a loved one, transmitting their loved one’s location and relevant data directly to the dispatch center closest to them. Additionally, Family Connect allows users to share their location with loved ones, see family members’ real-time locations without the distraction of a phone call or text, and easily and discreetly ask family and friends for help.

“We are extremely excited about this partnership,” said RapidSOS co-founder and CTO Nick Horelik, who received his PhD in Nuclear Engineering from M.I.T. “We know that Haven will have a direct positive impact on the safety and security of Cambridge residents.” Nick first experienced the challenges of locating individuals in emergencies while staffing the suicide prevention hotline at Tufts University during college.

RapidSOS will also team up with Cambridge and participate in public safety education and outreach, including distributing information on emergency preparedness, tips to keep families and communities safe, and details on how Haven can help.

“So many individuals rely on cell phones rather than landlines. With this evolution, it is important for us to receive location as quickly as we would from a landline, and this technology makes that possible,” said Chief Gerald R. Reardon of the Cambridge Fire Department.

“Having more precise information such as the type of emergency and GPS location dispatched to our officers will only assist in expediting our emergency response and create broader situational awareness,” said Commissioner Christopher J. Burke of the Cambridge Police Department.

RapidSOS is offering Haven free to those who live in Cambridge for a 10-year period, if they sign up for the app by June 27, 2018 at The Haven app is available for iPhone and Android devices and works anywhere across the contiguous U.S. and Hawaii, with one touch emergency calling in over 250 countries and jurisdictional territories. For more information about RapidSOS and the Haven app, visit


About RapidSOS

RapidSOS was formed in 2012 by a team of M.I.T., Harvard, and Stanford grad students who had personal experiences with the challenges of the existing emergency communication infrastructure. Working closely with the 9-1-1 community, tech and telecom companies, and leading investors, RapidSOS is developing technology to predict and preempt emergencies before they occur, dynamically warn people in harm’s way, and ensure that first responders are one touch away globally. Learn more at

[1] National 911 Program. Review of Nationwide 911 Data Collection.

[2] The Federal Communication Commission. In the Matter of Wireless 911 Location Accuracy Requirements. 2014.

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