Free Public Safety Service Offers a Way for Families to Proactively Provide Information about Their Family Members with Autism to 9-1-1 in Case of Emergency
FRAMINGHAM, Mass., August 27, 2015 – Imagine you are home one day, when you suddenly realize your eight year old son with autism has wandered away. He is non-verbal and does not like to be approached by strangers. As you frantically run through your neighborhood along his usual paths, you dial 9-1-1. While the dispatcher is asking you questions, all you can think is “please just get here and find him.” Now imagine the dispatcher is already viewing a profile of your family, including your son’s photo and notes about how to interact with him. These critical details are shared immediately with officers in the field, and soon after they tell you he was found safely, walking down the street. They knew all of those details, because of Smart911.
Smart911, the free, life saving, national public safety service, will be exhibiting at Autism Alliance of Michigan’s Success Is a Spectrum Autism Conference, taking place in Traverse City, Michigan on August 27th, at the Hagerty Conference Center at Northwestern Michigan College. Smart911 will educate care-givers and service providers about how Safety Profiles can help protect those affected by autism in an emergency situation. Available in 14 counties in Michigan, Smart911 gives families the ability to provide information to 9-1-1, before an emergency happens.
“With Smart911, police are immediately provided key details including how to best approach someone with autism as well as photos, which can be immediately sent to responders who are in the field,” said Sergeant Scott Schuelke, Safety Specialist-AAoM MiNavigator Program. “Smart911 also helps Emergency Medical Services to be aware of preexisting medical conditions, medications and allergies to facilitate treatment. Fire crews know not only how many residents live at a home, but locations of bedrooms, and if a child with autism has a known hiding spot when scared.”
The Success Is a Spectrum Autism Conference will share practical tools, strategies and resources to help improve the lives of those affected by autism. In addition to the exhibitors, nine educational sessions will be held, including “Autism Safety in the Home & Community” presented by Sergeant Schuelke. The Success Is a Spectrum Autism Conference is one of the ways the Autism Alliance of Michigan is a leader in creating unprecedented collaboration that improves the quality of life for individuals with autism and their loved ones.
“Recently, Smart911 helped shave eleven minutes in response time by providing 9-1-1 call takers the exact address of a mobile phone caller in Grand Traverse county who was unable to communicate his location during his 9-1-1 call,” explained Leah Hornacek, supervisor of Grand Traverse 9-1-1. “First responders were dispatched immediately and pulled that man out of his burning home, saving his life. This is just one example of how Smart911 can save valuable seconds during an emergency.”
“Smart911 has proven very effective in helping those with autism,” said Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. “We urge members of the autism community to sign up and create a Smart911 Safety Profile. By creating a Safety Profile for their household, those with autism and their families can be better prepared in an emergency situation.”
Smart911 is available in more than 1,500 municipalities across 41 states, including Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Seattle and the entire state of Arkansas. It has been credited with positively impacting emergency situations and saving lives across the U.S., including a missing child case in Arkansas, a heart attack victim in Tennesee..As a national service, anytime a person with a Smart911 Safety Profile dials 9-1-1 from any location in the U.S. that supports Smart911, their profile will appear to dispatchers allowing for more information to be available at the time of an emergency.