Lake County Emergency Response Joins Smart911 Network


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In emergency situations when every second can count, dispatchers work to find out as much as they can about what’s happening on the other of the phone and who needs help.

But at Lake County’s Communications Center dispatchers now can find out a lot about the person making the call before they even pick up the phone.

The county is the first in the area to join the national Smart911 system.

Smart911 allows residents to create free safety profiles, made up of critical household data that could be pivotal to first responders during an emergency. The profiles can consist of anything from phone numbers, medical conditions and disabilities, to photos of family members and floor plans.

“By putting that info in Smart911, we get a profile that could give us an address, next of kin, picture, access codes to the house, anything of that nature,” said Greg Holcomb, the emergency 911 coordinator for Lake County.
With Smart911 being a national network, anytime a citizen dials 911 across the country and the call is answered by a local Smart911 supported center, their profile will be available. This could make the dispatcher privy to crucial, possibly life-saving information.

Those interested in creating a safety profile can do so by visiting the company’s website.

Each profile is private and only available to dispatchers during an emergency call.

“The only time that information is supplied is when they call 911,” Holcomb said.

“There’s always that scare once people have that information, there could be a problem. But for the police aspect, I think it’s a good thing so they can respond to any problems that you may have,” said Lake County resident Pedro Rivera.
“I don’t have any problem with that whatsoever, especially as bad as health as I’m in, I think it would be a benefit,” Lake County resident Gene Russell said.

Smart911 is available in 24 states, including several counties in Florida.

Lake County’s participation in Smart911 totaled $43,500, and was fully funded through a Florida E911 State Grant from the Florida Department of Management Services.

For more information about Smart911, call the Lake County Public Safety Department at (352) 343-9458 or visit www.smart911.com.

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