Nationwide 911 Outage and The Effective Use of Emergency Notification Systems

During the evening of Wednesday, March 8, 9-1-1 centers across the country began reporting a 911 outage with AT&T callers trying to call for emergency service.  Based on our own data representing nearly 20% of the nations calls, across a diverse geographic area, the impact of the outage can be seen in the chart below.  While the issue is being investigated, I thought I’d share a couple quick lessons learned on using social media and emergency notification / mass notification services to proactively communicate with your population.

ATT 911 Calls

Many PSAPs and local government officials took the initiative to tweet about the outage and share their direct dial 10-digit number.

DC notifies citizens of 911 outage

Here are couple quick lessons learned for public safety agencies:

  • Make sure your social media communications clearly describe the region for which any 10-digit number is appropriate.  Social sharing knows no geographic bounds and you can quickly find yourself answering calls from calls across the country if your message isn’t clear
  • Consider using your emergency notification system to message your impacted population.  Not only is this an effective way to get the message out via social media, text message, voice calls and other modes, it also ends up being a great way to advertise and get citizens to opt-in to the service.  Your message should include a prompt to share awareness of both the 911 communications issues as well as the emergency notification service.

Our national emergency number system is robust and outages are rare; however, when a 911 outage or issue arises it is best to be prepared.  Rapid and effective outbound communication can help reduce the negative impact of an outage.

Warwick School Committee Views Demonstration For School Safety

All staff members in the city’s schools can now download the Panic Button from Rave Mobile Safety on their phones. When they open it, they can press one of five buttons: “active shooter”, “fire”, “medical”, “police” or “911 other”.

Mutualink and Rave Mobile Safety Announce Joint Technology Deployment

Mutualink and Rave Mobile Safety Announce Joint Technology Deployment for Improved Security in Warwick Public Schools

Solution Will Save Lives through Enhanced Collaboration with Police Department, Fire Department and Kent Hospital

Wallingford, CT and Framingham, MA – March 9, 2017 – Mutualink and Rave Mobile Safety today announced that Warwick Public Schools enabled faster real-time communication and information sharing with first responders through the installation of their joint solution. The deployment represents the first district-wide implementation of the solution combining Mutualink’s multimedia interoperable communications platform with Rave Mobile Safety’s Rave Panic Button.

Under the leadership of Mark Hatten, Chief Executive Officer, Mutualink, and Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety, the two companies leveraged their experience in emergency communications and public safety to create a safer school environment.

“With the Rave Panic Button, Warwick’s teachers and first responders are in closer contact,” said Mayor Scott Avedisian, Warwick. “Rave Mobile Safety integrating with Mutualink improves the safety of our community by reducing the time to incident resolution. When first responders have voice, video and data information before arriving on site, the outcome is better for all concerned.”

Rave Panic Button activates Mutualink’s multimedia communication platform with the push of a button, while instantly dialing 9-1-1 and notifying stakeholders on the campus. All Warwick Public School teachers and staff will have this powerful tool at their fingertips.

“This is an innovative collaboration tool that spans the entire community. Our schools benefit from the experience our first responders have on the platform,” said Philip Thornton, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools in Warwick. “Our goal is to connect with law enforcement more quickly, creating better situational awareness before they even reach the school. We’re also seeing a better way to work between schools.”

Joining Forces to Protect Warwick Public Schools

Mutualink and Rave Mobile Safety rolled out their integrated solution following a presentation to the Warwick School Committee and subsequent contract award. After a quick implementation process, responders and administrators conducted thorough training and scenario planning over several months. Warwick Police Department, Warwick Fire Department, Kent Hospital and the Warwick Mall were early adopters of Mutualink’s collaboration solution and have used the platform for emergencies and training for 4 years.

“Rave Mobile Safety’s industry leading panic button app drastically reduces response times,” said Mark Hatten, CEO, Mutualink. “By collaborating with Rave Mobile Safety, we are leveraging their extensive public safety experience by providing an all-in-one technology solution that improves safety for schools and other critical infrastructure.”

Additionally, Rave Mobile Safety is better protecting teachers and staff by instantly calling 9-1-1 while opening a collaboration session between school staff and the police.

“Over the last ten years, Mutualink has enabled schools to have secure and rapid communications with law enforcement,” said Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. “This joint solution protects students, faculty, and staff through better communication and collaboration.”

About Mutualink

Mutualink, Inc. has developed an interoperable communications platform that enables community-wide multimedia sharing of radio, voice, text, video, data files and telephone communications in a secure environment. Mutualink’s system is currently deployed by hundreds of public and private entities worldwide, including homeland security and defense installations, NATO Special Operations Forces, police and fire departments, transit authorities, hospitals, schools, universities, shopping malls, casinos, and more. Mutualink’s technology is on the “Approved Products List” for both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Defense. Mutualink is a privately-held company headquartered in Wallingford, Conn., with R&D facilities in Westford, Mass., Allen, Texas and Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and Defense Services office near Washington, DC. For more information please visit www.mutualink.net.

Rave Mobile Safety logo
Mutualink - school safety

Rockland MA Enhancing Emergency Notification With New Mass Alert System

Rockland Ma Launches rave Alert

Rockland MA Has Announced a New Emergency Notification System.

The notifications will keep residents and travelers informed on potentially hazardous situations involving weather, traffic and other emergencies.

Additional Information: Rockland Emergency Notifications

Community Policing and the Growing Impact of Modern Technology

Community Policing Modern Technology

How Law Enforcement Agencies Are Leveraging Technology To Develop and Support Community Policing

Even before community policing became a common term in law enforcement circles, our clients were driving Rave down the path of creating solutions that foster improved communications and sharing of information with the populations they serve. From mass notification solutions to anonymous crime tips, to scale-able vulnerable needs registries, Rave was nudged down the path of helping enable community policing before we knew what it was.

While many of the concepts of community policing have been tested in projects across the country for years, the concept of community policing began to really take shape and gain momentum following a series of high profile events involving police and citizens across the United States over the past few years. Gallup conducted a poll in the summer of 2015 to measure public confidence in the police:

  • 48% of respondents had “some,” “very little,” or “no,” confidence
  • 25% of respondents had “quite a lot” of confidence

The lack of confidence was even more pronounced in the African American and Hispanic communities. This white paper titled Bridging the Gap: 21st Century Community Policing, details some innovative policing programs from around the country and the fantastic results they have achieved.

We have also seen some really powerful uses of our technology in improving the engagement between the law enforcement community and the broader community they serve. Here are a few examples:

  • An anonymous tip from a concerned roommate, submitted through Rave Eyewitness enabled police to confiscate a firearm before the student was able to use it, averting a potential active shooter incident.
  • Atlanta area community police units use registration with Smart911 as a way to engage with vulnerable needs populations.
  • Communities such as Purdue University are instantly alerted to emergency events such as active shooter incidents, reducing the impact of such events

Read more examples of how Rave’s suite helps speed responses and improve community engagement on our stories page.

Dedham Public Safety Officials Announce New Service: Smart911

Dedham Smart911

Public safety officials in Dedham announced that Smart911 is now available to all individuals. Smart911 is a free service available to all residents and travelers, that allows individuals and families to sign up online to provide key information to 911 call takers should an emergency occur.

Newberry County’s Announces New 9-1-1 Technology: Smart911

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster and all aspects of public safety in Newberry County are excited to announce that Smart911 is now available in the area.

Additional News: GWDtoday.com   10wistv.com

A New Safety App Hits the Campus of Valdosta State University

New Mobile Safety App

Students will now feel safer on Valdosta State campus. The mobile safety app called Blazer Guardian is provided by Rave Mobile Safety. It gives each student an additional layer of security, right in the palm of their hand. To increase the safety on your campus, check out our campus safety solutions today.

Chester County Launches New Safety Initiative: Smart911

Smart911 Service is Now Supported in Chester County PA and all residents and travelers to the area of encouraged to sign up for a free online Safety Profile.

Additional News: ChesterCounty.Gov  WorldNews.com

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Certifies Rave Mobile Safety

Key Components of the Rave Platform are now on the DHS SAFETY Act’s “Approved List” of Anti-Terrorism Technologies

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., February 14, 2017 – Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), provider of critical communication and data platform solutions trusted to save lives, today announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has formally recognized Rave Alert, Smart911 (the Rave 911 Suite) and Rave Panic Button as Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies through the award of both SAFETY Act Designation ® and SAFETY Act Certification ®. Through this award, key components of the Rave Platform are now on the DHS SAFETY Act’s “Approved Technologies” list.

The SAFETY (Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology) Act enhances national security by providing additional liability protection to manufacturers of anti-terrorism technologies meeting the stringent requirements of SAFETY Act Designation ® and SAFETY Act Certification ®. This recognition is further evidence of the effectiveness of the Rave platform, and the high-performing organization committed to the development and support of Rave’s lifesaving critical communications and data management platform.

“Evaluation for the SAFETY Act Certification and Designation required rigorous analysis and evaluation, which makes us honored and proud to be designated with such an important accreditation,” said Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. “We see this as another step forward for our customers as they can feel even more secure and trusted by community partners knowing that they can utilize our solutions without fearing legal liability if the technology is ever compromised following a terrorist act.”

The combination of Rave Alert, Rave 911 Suite and Rave Panic Button offers a comprehensive suite of solutions which provides a best-in-class, mass notification and emergency communications system. Customized for military, government, healthcare, higher education and commercial organizations, last year the organization delivered more than 400 million emergency notifications and processed more than 25 million 9-1-1 calls.

New Smart911 Service Available to Those Dialing 9-1-1 in Chester County

Smart911 Service is Now Supported in Chester County PA and all residents and travelers to the area of encouraged to sign up for a free online Safety Profile.

Additional News: ChesterCounty.Gov  WorldNews.com

School Safety Technology: Rave Panic Button and Rand Corporation Research

Technology report highlighting school violence and how modern technology can help

school safety technology active shooter

The Rand Corporation’s 2016 report, “Can Technology Make Schools Safer”, is in-line with the research gathered from speaking with dozens of school safety experts and emergency responders while developing Rave Panic Button.

The Rand report highlights the nature of school safety threats, including but not limited to Active Shooters, and then documents the results of a prioritization exercise taken by leading experts to identify the school safety technology needs for improving overall safety.  The results also align with other school safety studies undertaken by the FBI and NYPD, and emphasize two key technologies:

  • Teachers, administrators and emergency responders need to be able to engage in direct two-way communication during a crisis rather than having to report emergencies to the school’s main office and then have the office serve as the sole conduit for communication with emergency responders. This is often referred to as “victim initiated response” and is a key tenant of Rave Panic Button.
  • Staff members need easier and faster access to information, possibly through all-in-one school safety technology applications, in order to prevent, reduce, and respond to the entire spectrum of school violence. The sharing of this information with responders is also often highlighted as a key gap in communication and interoperability – both between school officials and responders and across responder agencies.  Rave Facility is designed to facilitate the easy, scale-able collection of critical data and enable sharing of that information across authorized users.

If you want to learn more about how Rave Panic Button helps improve communication and cuts response times, check out this school safety case study which highlights the use and deployment of the solution to over 200,000 students, teachers and staff in New York.  This solution is also integrated into remote door lock and video surveillance systems provided by Intralogic Solutions.

Severe Weather Notification Best Practice Tips

How to leverage your emergency notification system and weather the storm

Severe Weather Notification Emergency Alert

As I sit here in the midst of the latest Nor’easter to hit the Boston area I’m tracking interesting uses of our mass notification system to manage the preparation and response and sending of a severe weather notification across the country.  Below are couple quick observations of practices in use by clients that can help you better leverage your emergency notification system and weather the storm.

mass Severe weather notificationAutomated Severe Weather Notification

While the storm hitting the east coast right now was anticipated and surprised no one, severe weather can happen quickly.  Many of our clients configure automated notifications to be sent to select administrators as conditions arise.  Tornado watches and warnings are a great example.  As notices are published by the national weather services for a given area, those who are responsible for making the broader community aware of threats are automatically notified.  Many times, weather watches (or “preparatory” messages) may also be automatically posted to social media channels.  As the severity and likelihood of impact increase, many organizations choose to set that those alerts are automatically sent to the broader community.

Carefully Plan Communications Before the Incident

There are a couple of interesting observations here.  First, thinking in advance about the various scenarios and phases of a severe weather event will help you identify the right messages, audiences, and modes of individual or mass communication.

Prevent Messaging Fatigue

If you are a university and different parts of the campus are susceptible to power outages you may want to consider who would need to be notified in each of those areas.  Messaging fatigue for recipients is a real concern.  You don’t want to be sending non-relevant messages about a power out in a dorm to commuter students.

Define Communication User Groups

Additionally, the details communicated back and forth between staff and facilities maintenance are not appropriate even for those living in the building.  Targeting to that level means you need to have attributes that let you define the different user groups as you need to target them. Increasingly the workflows around what should be communicated to whom and when are contained in incident management systems such as WebEOC from Intermedix (a Rave partner).  From pre-event preparation messages through post incident clean up, these systems help track and coordinate resources.

A Bluelight at Your Fingertips: Rave Guardian, Mobile Safety App

With University of Louisville’s blue lights out of order or needing maintenance, SGA Services Vice President Lauren Greenwell highly encourages students to download Rave Guardian, a mobile safety app.

Scotts Bluff And Banner Counties Launch New Mass Notification System

mass text region 22 alert

Scotts Bluff and Banner Counties replace CODERED mass text and emergency notification system with “Region 22 Alert”.

Rave Mobile Safety Bolsters Life Saving Footprint in 2016

 Rave announces key milestones in the last year that enabled customers to use its revolutionary safety technology to prepare better, act faster & save lives.

February 1, 2017 – Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), the provider of critical communication and data platform solutions trusted to save lives, today announced several 2016 key milestones that enabled customers to prepare better, act faster and save lives. Highlights include, record customer growth, continued industry leading customer retention rates and key strategic partner announcements, and most importantly, lives positively impacted.

“In a year with growing threats and increased violence, our customers leveraged Rave’s platform to enhance preparedness and protection,” said Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. “It’s more important than ever for organizations to have the technology and plans in place should an emergency occur. Rave is continually innovating to help prevent emergencies and we expect to bring even more lifesaving results in 2017 for the institutions using our solutions.”

Record Client Growth

For the 21st consecutive quarter, Rave achieved record growth with hundreds of new customers representing more than 1,000 unique deployments across state & local agencies, corporations, critical infrastructure, K-12 districts and higher education.

Furthermore, Rave continued to expand its diverse client roster. For example, Nassau County, New York expanded on its relationship with Rave by electing to deploy Rave Panic Button as a key part of its safety and response infrastructure for protecting all of the county’s schools and critical infrastructure. Additionally, following successful deployments in dozens of 9-1-1 centers, Michigan made Smart911 available to every 9-1-1 center across the Great Lakes State.

Among hundreds of others, new and expanded relationships also include Licking County, OH, Boone County, MO, Montgomery County, PA, Erlanger Health System, University of Alabama, and Santa Fe College.

Supporting this growth, Rave delivered more than 400 million emergency notifications. Additionally, the organization processed more than 25 million 9-1-1 calls enabling emergency responders to rapidly locate callers to save victims encountering medical emergencies, home invasions, and incidents of domestic violence.

Strategic Partner Growth

Rave’s market growth and footprint was highlighted by new strategic partnerships with Intermedix, a global leader in cloud-based emergency management solutions, Mutualink, a leader in worldwide interoperability solutions for public safety and Intralogic Solutions, a provider of security technologies. Each partnership resulted in deep integrations, driven by customer demands and significant client traction and success.

Product Innovation

During 2016, Rave continued to expand upon its lead in providing innovative public safety technology. From Rave Command View which enhances situational awareness and provides a common operating picture shared between 9-1-1 and responding agencies, to Rave Analytics which enables 9-1-1 centers to analyze call patterns to improve staffing and other operational decisions.

In recognition of continued innovation, Rave garnered four new patents in 2016 covering mobile smartphone safety apps, delivering data to 9-1-1 and enhancing emergency communications.

Additionally, Rave’s products were touted by third parties as among some of the best safety and security applications in the world. Highlights include:

  • Government Security News (GSN) Homeland Security Awards, “Best Lockdown and 9-1-1 Notification in Active Shooter Situations” for Rave Panic Button
  • Campus Technology 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards, “Gold Award” for Rave Alert
  • Business Intelligence Group, “Big Innovation Award” for Smart911
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act’s “Approved Technologies List”

Saving Lives

From helping facilitate a rapid and effective response to active assailants and shooters at colleges and universities, ensuring faster and informed aid to heart attack victims or enabling proactive reporting and engagement of employees on work place violence or human resources issues, Rave was involved in assisting agencies to respond to everything from large scale disasters to individual incidents and assisted in saving countless lives throughout 2016. Examples of how Rave’s revolutionary safety technology impacts public safety can be can be found on the recently updated website.

Kentucky State Police Support New Alert System to Notify Residents During Emergencies

Residents Encouraged to Sign Up for the Free Service and Stay Informed of Potentially Hazardous Situations

Date of News Release: 1/06/2017

Campbellsburg, KY (January 6, 2017) – Public safety officials in the counties of Henry, Owen, and Trimble (HOT) are excited to announce that H.O.T. Alert, a service of Smart911, is now available to all residents. H.O.T. Alert is a free service that allows individuals to sign up for notifications sent from state and local authorities. H.O.T. Alert keeps residents and travelers informed of potentially hazardous situations involving weather, traffic, and other emergencies.

“This new H.O.T. Alert system enables us to notify the community in real time,’ said Rebecca Mills, Communications Supervisor for Kentucky State Police Campbellsburg. “This service allows for critical communication with the public and provides individuals with the information needed to stay safe or take precautions during emergencies”

H.O.T. Alert, a service of Smart911, enables residents and travelers to Henry, Owen, and Trimble Counties to sign up for free at www.HOTalerts.org to receive timely and actionable emergency alerts via email, text, or voice messages on their cell phones and landlines. Residents can also identify when and how they are alerted and communicated with before, during, and after emergencies.

“Residents may have signed up for our pervious alert system, Code Red. A few months ago the 911 board for Henry, Owen and Trimble Counties made the decision to replace our old service with HOT Alerts. The number one reason we switched systems was cost. The new system is more cost effective and more user friendly. I would like to stress to all residents that you have to sign up for the new system. Especially if you’ve changed numbers or no longer have a landline.” said Rebecca Mills.

Citizens of these Counties are encouraged to sign up for H.O.T. Alert and input their information and notification preferences today on the secure Smart911 online system. Their information will immediately be available to 9-1-1 for use in sending them emergency notifications. H.O.T. Alert is private, secure, and is only used for emergency situations to inform the community.

For more information or assistance with signing up in Owen or Trimble Counties please contact your local County Judge Executive’s Office. Henry County residents please contact 1-502-465-3052. Don’t forget to visit www.HOTalerts.org

Action Ambulance Offers Smart911 Service to Over 1 Million Residents in Greater Boston Area

Residents in Ipswich, Stoneham, Wakefield, and Winthrop are Encouraged to Sign Up For the Free Service That Provides Emergency Responders With More Information to Save Time and Save Lives

WILMINGTON, Mass., – Action Ambulance, a leader in Emergency Medical Services for over 30 years, announced today that they their medical secondary PSAP [Public Safety Answering Point] will support Smart911 on all 9-1-1 calls that require a medical response.  Smart911 is a free service that allows individuals to create a Safety Profile for their household that can include any information they may want 9-1-1 call takers and first responders to have in the event of an emergency, then if they need to dial 9-1-1 their Safety Profile will immediately display on the call taker’s screen saving critical seconds and even minutes in response to the emergency.

Smart911saves critical time in an emergency and has proven to save lives nationwide.  The additional information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile enables us to know exactly where we are going and what medical assistance is necessary, those details can help us respond faster and more efficiently.

Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile at www.smart911.com for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and response teams to have in the event of an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information. Additionally, individuals can opt-in to receive notifications about emergencies or critical situations and receive alerts regarding necessary actions, such as evacuation and shelter-in-place.

In an emergency medical situation, callers are panicked and cannot always relay important information.  Often it is the worst day of their lives. With Smart911, the additional information can speak for them and help us help them faster.

With Smart911, citizens can link both home and work addresses to mobile phones, which can be passed on to responders in the field for more a detailed, rapid response.  Additional information including pets in the home, vehicle details in the event of an accident, and even emergency contacts can all be included in a Safety Profile.  All information is optional and the citizen has the ability to choose what details they would like to include.

Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country, and has been credited with positively impacting emergency outcomes including a missing child in which the girls photo and physical description were immediately available to 9-1-1 and responders, as well as a heart attack victim where an address and medical notes allowed responders to be dispatched to his location quickly.

Citizens are encouraged to create their Safety Profile with Smart911 today to have their information immediately available to 9-1-1 and to receive emergency notifications. Smart911 is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses, and only made available to the 9-1-1 system in the event of an emergency call.

Smart911 Comes to Central Dispatch

No automatic alt text available.Livingston County’s Central Dispatch is launching two new safety initiatives to better protect county residents during emergencies: Text-to-911 and Smart911.

Text-to-911 allows individuals to send a text message to 911 from their mobile devices if they are in Livingston County. Central Dispatch has been testing this service since early October.

Smart911 is a free service that allows individuals and families to sign up online and provide key information to 911 centers. This information enables more effective emergency response by law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services.

“We are very proud to be able to offer the Text-to-911 service to our residents and visitors giving them this tool that provides another avenue for individuals to contact 9-1-1 during a time of need,” 911 Deputy Director Chad Chewning said.

“The Smart911 Safety Profiles can save critical time in an emergency when seconds can be the difference between life and death and the additional function of the Smart911 platform helps us respond more efficiently,” he added.

Experts advise that the location of an emergency is the most vital information in the text service. Once a person uses this service, he or she should be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from Central Dispatch.

Photos and videos cannot be sent via the Text-to-911 service, and it also cannot receive of group texts.

A text or data plan is required to send a text message, and this service is not available everywhere in Michigan. Senders will receive a message if the service is not available.

Smart911 enables residents to create a “safety profile” at www.smart911.com for their entire household.

Residents can customize their profile and share any information they want Central Dispatch and response teams to have in the event of an emergency. All information is private and secure, and it is seen only when the resident dials 911.

Livingston County residents are encouraged to create their Safety Profile with Smart911 today to have their information immediately available to Central Dispatch and first responders.

Clinton County Now Using Smart 911

SAINT JOHNS, Mich. (WILX) – When you call 9-1-1, dispatchers are trying to get all the information they can to get you help. They need things like your address or if you have any medical conditions.

“Some of those things in an emergency you might forget,” Michael Armitage, the Eaton County Director of Emergency Communications said.

The smart 9-1-1 program lets you make a profile in advance- detailing information about yourself that pops up on screen when you call 9-1-1.

“Officers, firefighters and EMTS are responding and that information is helpful to them that can save seconds and that can save lives,” Armitage said.

Now more lives could be saved because Clinton County has adopted smart 9-1-1.

“We want everyone to sign up in our county,” Christine Collum the Clinton County 9-1-1 Director said.

Ingham County has been using the program since this past February and Eaton County has been using it since 2013.

“Every agency should use it,” Eaton County Dispatcher Michael Bialkowski said.

The profile travels with you- so if you’re signed up in Eaton County and have an emergency in Clinton- they’ll have access to your information- creating a larger database.

“The more areas where that information is available if you call 9-1-1 is very beneficial,” Armitage said.

Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties say one of the best features of the program is that it finally gives them the ability to send text messages to people who call 9-1-1. Bialkowski has already used the feature to save somebody who dialed 9-1-1 but wouldn’t pick up the phone.

“We asked for his location and he actually sent back his address” Bialkowski said.

The messaging also saves on resources- a lot of people accidentally call 9-1-1 now dispatchers can just send them a text to see if they really need help.

“That saves us a lot of time instead of having to send an officer over to their house to check on them,” Armitage said.

They say the smart 9-1-1 service benefits everyone.

“It makes it easier for our dispatchers the first responders and the public who are calling 9-1-1,” Armitage said.

If you’re interested in creating a smart 9-1-1 profile you can by visiting smart911.com from there you click on “sign up today”

It’s free and only takes a few minutes.

Article Originally Posted Here

How Emergency Response Centers Can Get More Data From Callers

smart911To improve public safety response and preparedness, municipalities are signing up for an enhanced 911 solution that provides emergency dispatchers with more information about participating callers.

The Smart911 service lets users create an online safety profile that includes any information on themselves, their families or households that they would want 911 response teams to have in an emergency. Any public-safety answering point with the Smart911 software will be able to see this information when a registered user calls.

The Mountain Valley Emergency Communication Center in New Jersey, which covers the city of Summit, the borough of New Providence and the township of Millburn, was the first in the state to adopt Smart911 in late 2015.

“It provides great supplemental data that is often missed when people call 911 from wireless devices,” said Scott Ruf, executive director at Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center. Ruf had used Smart911 when he was director of emergency communications for Douglas County, Kan., and brought the solution to New Jersey shortly after the center opened.

“In just the 911 industry alone, we’re seeing significant increases in wireless communications from citizens,” Ruf told GCN. That, combined with the area’s dense population, made Smart911 a great fit for the community, he said.

Rave Mobile Safety, a public safety solutions provider, developed the platform to provide more information to 911 centers when someone calls from a mobile device. According to Todd Miller, vice president of public safety at Rave, about 75 to 85 percent of calls coming into 911 are from mobile phones, which do not always provide accurate location data. In addition, during an emergency, callers can forget to share critical information that could help dispatchers.

Along with phone numbers and addresses, citizens can upload health and medical information, disabilities, photos and physical descriptions of themselves and family members to their safety profile. Facilities like office complexes, K-12 schools, university campuses and municipal buildings also can be registered. A facility’s profile could include floor plans, emergency response plans, employee rosters, building blueprints and emergency contact details. Users can geo-fence specific buildings enabling the display of critical facility information for every call made from that location — whether landline or wireless.

All this data is stored securely and privately within Rave’s national public safety infrastructure, a nationwide repository. Only those PSAPs with the Smart911 software installed can access the database. The software reads the PSAPs Automatic Number Identification and Automatic Location Identifier feed during an inbound call, and uses that information to search within the national database. If there is a match for a registered user, the system will open a pop-up window on the call-taker’s workstation with that caller’s safety profile.

“It fits seamlessly within the standard operating procedures of our PSAPs today. We don’t have to have 911 call-takers try to swivel [their] chair over to another system,” Miller said. Smart911 is used in more than 3,000 communities and 42 states, and a user’s profile is accessible in any jurisdiction using the software, he added.

According to Ruf, Smart911 is integrated with the Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center’s phone system and computer-aided dispatch system, but the remote database is secured by Rave. “We can only access the database if a phone number registered with Smart911 dials 911,” he said. Responders can’t browse the nationwide repository.

The New Jersey center benefits from Smart911’s communication tools as well, specifically the two-way text messaging chat function. In the event of a 911 hang-up or dropped call, even if the caller does not have a profile, the call-taker can send a text message back to the phone to make sure there isn’t an emergency or to confirm that the caller is in danger.  (A 2015 report found that that nearly a third of mobile-phone calls to 911 are accidental.)

In the past couple months, the center also began using Smart911’s Rave Command View control center, which allows Ruf and his team to better manage system statistics — both historical and real-time data. “It gives us an idea of what’s going on and allows supervisors, when they can, to monitor what’s happening and jump-in and take over calls if the call-taker is also the dispatcher,” Ruf said.

The New Jersey center has been using Smart911 for about a year and has accessed safety profiles in life-saving situations. According to Miller, in Grand Traverse County, Mich., another Smart911 jurisdiction, having the correct home address in a caller’s safety profile shaved 11 minutes off the response time during a house fire.

“It’s not a hard sell when you look at the information we’re getting and how it’s utilized today,” he said.

Originally posted here.

Poinsett County Sheriff’s Department Now Uing Smart911 System

Monday, January 9th 2017, 5:16 pm CSTMonday, January 9th 2017, 8:28 pm CST 8625481_g
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HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) – Poinsett County authorities are now working on building a population map to help residents who call 911 get the help they need in a faster way. According to a media release from Sheriff Kevin Molder, the department is now using the Smart911 system. The system allows people to put information into a database, which will be used by the county’s 911 system. Molder said the system will help authorities know the areas where people live and will know the location of someone if they cannot speak to authorities. People interested in participating can call 911 Coordinator Megan New at 870-578-2116. Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.