9-1-1 Dispatcher Uses Smart911 to Locate Trapped Citizen


A telecommunicator with Michigan’s Ionia County Central Dispatch (ICCD) received a SmartSave Award for his outstanding efforts to aid a citizen in need using Smart911, the County’s 9-1-1 service aimed at improving emergency response.

On January 25, Dispatcher John Wiechenthal received an open-air 9-1-1 call from a mobile phone, meaning there was no response from the caller. Wiechenthal used GPS coordinates to find an approximate location of the caller in Portland, Mich., and conducted a phone number search on Facebook which provided the citizen’s name, a photo of their vehicle and a status update that indicated they may be in trouble.

After dispatching police to the approximate location with the citizen’s name and vehicle details, Wiechenthal used Smart911 to send a text message to the caller. Even though the caller had not yet signed up for Smart911, the texting component of the system was available and Wiechenthal was able to communicate with the citizen, determine an exact location and learn that their car was stuck in the snow. Police were then directed to the location to provide assistance.

WXMI Fox 17 News

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