Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) | Definition, History & Benefits

Explore the benefits and future trends of Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems, and discover how Getac integrates seamlessly with CAD for public safety.


What is a Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD)?

Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) is a technology tool used primarily by emergency response agencies and public safety organizations to efficiently manage and dispatch resources in response to calls for service. A CAD system assists dispatchers in conveying vital information to field personnel, ensuring quicker response and increased situational awareness.

Brief History and Evolution of CAD Systems

The origins of computer-aided dispatch can be traced back to the 1960s when the demand for a more efficient way to handle calls and dispatch units became apparent. With the advancement in computer technology, early CAD systems transitioned from command-line interfaces to more intuitive graphical systems, making the dispatcher's role more streamlined and effective.

Over the decades, CAD software evolved, incorporating features that enabled better coordination among multiple agencies and enhanced data-sharing capabilities.

Importance of

CAD in Emergency Response and Public Safety

The primary role of CAD is to save lives. By providing dispatchers with the right information at the right time, CAD systems ensure first responders are better equipped to handle emergencies. It allows for efficient dispatch operations, ensuring that the responding units have access to critical information, making responders safer and the community better protected.

Components and Key Benefits of CAD System

Components of CAD Systems

Back-End Call-Taking and Incident Entry Application

The core of a CAD system, where the call taker enters complete details of an incident after receiving it from the caller.

Incident Tracking and Status Updates

patchers maintain up-to-date status of all incidents, ensuring efficient allocation of resources and seamless experience for field personnel.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Integration

This allows dispatchers to identify and address locations of incidents, ensuring vehicles and units are dispatched to precise locations.

Reporting and Data Analysis

The field application receives electronic call information from the dispatcher, facilitating data analysis and continuous improvement of dispatch operations.

Key Benefits of CAD Systems

Real-Time Data Access and Sharing

CAD systems offer real-time data sharing among different agencies, ensuring the entire team has a comprehensive view of the situation.

Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL)

AVL tools in CAD software ensure that the closest available units are dispatched, promoting quicker response times.

Pre-Arrival Instructions and Support

Dispatchers can provide first responders with vital information and instructions even before they arrive at the event location.

Integration with Other Systems

Modern CAD systems can seamlessly integrate with other tools like mobile data terminals, providing a single platform for multiple agencies.

Customizable Workflows and User Interfaces

CAD systems can be tailored to fit the specific needs of an agency, ensuring dispatchers and field personnel have a tailored experience.

Scalability and Adaptability

As demands change, CAD systems can scale and adapt, resulting in improved response times for calls for service.

Ambulance Mobilization and CAD

Using CAD, ambulance mobilization software optimizes the dispatch process, leading to improved response times. This enables EMS agencies to provide superior patient care. The integration of CAD and EMS ensures that the units are equipped with the right information and resources to address medical emergencies efficiently.

Improving Workflow in Public Safety Agencies

CAD systems revolutionize the workflow of various public safety agencies, from law enforcement to fire departments and even security companies. By providing a centralized platform for communication, data sharing, and resource management, CAD systems empower these agencies to respond more efficiently to incidents, enhancing their ability to serve the community.

In-Car Fixed-Mount Getac Devices Enable Officers Access to Real-Time Information

The City of Pueblo outfits their police, fire & public works with Getac devices

Getac and Computer-Aided Dispatch Systems

Getac solutions integrate smoothly with leading CAD software. Getac is willing and abel to add custom integrations with legacy and modern CAD systems. Our engineering and customization team has worked with several CAD vendors to ensure our devices are compatible and willing to take on any new integrations as needed. These integrations provide:


Fast and Accurate Location Positioning

Increased control over teams is another key benefit offered by Getac's workforce management solutions. Through features like overtime alerts, businesses can optimize manpower usage, ensuring that employees are most productive where they're needed the most. This contributes to increased productivity and more efficient operations.


Enhanced Security with MFA Module Options

With options like Facial Recognition, Fingerprint Reader, and RFID, Getac devices work in harmony with MFA software, ensuring compliance with standards like CJIS and HIPPA that work with CAD systems.


Ambulance and CAD System Connectivity

Seamless connectivity between Getac devices and CAD systems ensures EMS agencies have up-to-date information on patients and incidents.


VGPS for Multiple Application Data

Getac's VGPS technology can provide GPS data to multiple public safety apps ( CAD, eCitation, and ePCR) simultaneously.


Rugged Devices for EMS Workflows

Designed to handle the rigors of EMS operations, Getac's rugged tablets and laptops ensure data integrity and system uptime.


Barcode Reader Integration

Getac's integrated Barcode Reader aids in efficient data input, reducing errors in critical situations.


Integration into the CAD Flow

When a call for service reaches any public safety agency:

  • A 911 call is made to the communications center.
  • The dispatcher inputs the details into the CAD system.
  • Using the GPS on Getac devices, the CAD system selects the nearest unit to the incident.
  • The dispatch is transmitted to the relevant agency's Getac computer via the embedded cellular WAN card.

Getac Video Solutions and CAD System Integration

Getac Video Solutions have the capability to incorporate ID and categorization data from third-party CAD systems. This integration aids officers and supervisors in searching for relevant videos based on the CAD ID, and it also allows them to compile these videos for DAs, lawyers, and other interested parties.

Two CAD an Video modes of integration exist:

  • CAD integration without automatic categorization searches for assets related to a CAD call based on the timestamp and officer ID of the ingested data. Assets that meet a certain match threshold are tagged with the relevant CAD ID in our EVM solution ( Enterprise video management). This allows officers/supervisors to search in our EVM for specific assets based on CAD ID.
  • CAD integration with automatic categorization does the above, as well as reads the classification of the CAD call from the CAD data. It then maps that classification to a corresponding Getac EVM 3 category and automatically assigns said category to the assets which get a successful CAD match. This is an automated way to assign retention to an asset group based on the known CAD classification.

To find out more about our video solutions, please visit:

Related solutions

Future Trends and Advancements in CAD Technology

As technology continues to evolve, CAD systems are integrating advancements like AI, IoT, and cloud-based solutions. These integrations promise a more streamlined, efficient, and intelligent dispatching process, ensuring first responders are equipped with even more accurate and timely data.

Getac rugged laptops, tablets, and video solutions provide fast system performance, seamlessly integrating with leading CAD software, ensuring agencies are equipped with state-of-the-art dispatch tools.

Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems have revolutionized the way public safety agencies operate, providing them with tools to make informed decisions, ensure quicker response times, and improve situational awareness.

Getac has robust solutions to support the work of first responders.

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