The city of Springfield has launched an enhancement to its emergency response system that official say could save lives.
Residents can now create profiles on Smart911.com, a secure information platform which can instantly tell 911 dispatchers vital information that can speed emergency response times, Mayor Domenic Sarno said at a press conference Tuesday.
“The more information our brave and dedicated firefighters and police officers have will only enhance their response for saving lives and saving structures,” Sarno said, describing the system as cutting edge.
As Americans have increasingly abandoned landlines in favor of mobile phones, it has become more difficult for dispatchers to track the source of emergency calls, Springfield Dispatch Director Melissa Nazzaro.
Sixty percent of 911 calls now come from cell phones, and while those calls do include GPS coordinates, those locations can prove inaccurate depending on signal strength, she said. And even in ideal conditions, mobile calls do not tell responders what floor or apartment a call is coming from – information that can be essential if the caller is incapacitated, drops the call or is otherwise unable to speak.
“We’re going see that number increase,” Nazzaro said. “Unfortunately GPS cell phone location accuracy within buildings in not very accurate.”
With Smart911, residents can create an extensive online profile which appears to dispatchers when a 911 call is made. Home address, bedroom location, pet information, medical details and whether households include older people with dementia or children with autism can all be provided and can improve responses, officials said.