Customer Success Story
Smart911 Safety Profile & Text-from-911 Helps Divert Domestic Violence Incident
Kent County, Michigan has 640,000+ Residents, 16,000+ Businesses and 61 full-time 9-1-1 telecommunicators.
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What should 9-1-1 call takers do when someone calls their call centers, and then hangs up before saying anything? In Kent County, Michigan, call takers try to contact the caller to confirm they called by mistake. If they cannot reach the caller and do not suspect an emergency, the call takers will move on to the next caller in need and not dispatch a responder.
Someone may be in a position where they need to call 9-1-1, but can’t safely speak. In these situations, it isn’t always obvious to call takers if the person on the line accidentally dialed 9-1-1, if they are unable to talk due to communication issues — such as being deaf or hard of hearing – or if they are currently in a situation where speaking with call takers could put them in immediate danger.
Rave 911 Suite provides callers and call takers with features for supplemental data and enhanced communication. With Rave 911 Suite, emergency dispatchers can address hang-ups or hard-to-hear calls by texting the caller back.
The Smart911 component of Rave 911 Suite enables residents to proactively provide details about themselves, their families and their homes to display durng the 9-1-1 call. By filling out a Smart911 Safety Profile, users can share their addresses, contact information, health issues and other crucial components that can save significant time in the event of an emergency.
Sara Kuberski, an Emergency Communications Operator II (ECO) at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, received a hang-up call from a resident with a Smart911 Safety Profile. Kuberski noticed that the caller had just updated her Safety Profile that morning, which encouraged Kuberski to reach out to the caller through Rave 911 Suite’s text-from-911 feature and ask if she had an emergency.
“The Smart911 Safety Profile helped us make a save that may not have happened otherwise. With the growing use of mobile devices, we rely on tools like Smart911 to help us access lifesaving location data and information that allows first responders to help our community swiftly and safely.”
Upon establishing text communication, Kuberski asked if there was an emergency, leading the caller to reply, “Yes, help can’t open the door,” and “He is on the couch and I don’t know what to do.” The caller said that her boyfriend had made suicidal comments and was refusing to let her leave the house.
Through text messages, Kuberski confirmed the caller’s address, and noticed that it was a location that had made domestic violence calls in the past. Further communication with the woman helped law enforcement officers learn that the suspect was not armed. Because the woman was unable to open the door for officers, texting also helped officers ensure that they were entering the correct apartment when they arrived on the scene.
This enhanced communication and deeper insight helped responding officers safely enter the home, take the man into custody, and request medical assistance for the woman, who had been choked.
“Make sure when you are doing your mass notification planning that you consider your visitor population that may not be aware of the ability to sign up for your traditional alert system,” she said. “Having the capability to do targeted messaging related to a special event will only increase a city’s preparedness.”
Had it not been for the woman’s Smart911 Safety Profile, Kuberski would not have known about the past incidents, and would have been unable to safely follow up with the caller. Since up to 88 percent of 9-1-1 calls received at the Kent County call center are from mobile devices, it’s vital that dispatchers have access to addresses and other information that can make all the difference in domestic violence incidents and other pressing emergencies. Rave 911 Suite helped bridge this mobile gap and provided responders with all the information they needed for a safe and effective response.
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