Suffolk Sets Up ‘Smarter’ 911 Service
Emergency response service gives locals opportunity to pair important medical information with their phone numbers.
Suffolk County officials this week said the county will integrate a new, smarter 911 service into its emergency response operations that allows locals to pair important medical info — as well as details about family, pets and housing — with their telephone numbers.
The service, called Smart911, is developed by Massachusetts-based Rave Mobile Safety and puts critical info in the hands of first responders, according to the county. With the existing 911 service, a call-center responder can only glean callers’ exact addresses if they are calling on a landline. But the Smart911 asks locals to create a profile that not only lists their address, but how many people live in house, how many pets are there, whether anyone in the house has a medical condition and even how many rooms the caller has in the house.
”When you create your Safety Profile, you choose what information to include and what details are important to share with responders. Every household has different needs, and Smart911 allows you to customize your profile to your household,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement.
According to the county, which did not disclose how much the service cost taxpayers, about 70 percent of 911 calls in Suffolk come in through mobile phones, which can make it hard to pinpoint a location if the call is dropped or the caller is unable to communicate.
Profiles can be set up at Smart911.com, and costs nothing to use. The county also said the info is kept private.
Suffolk officials said the service is especially important for households with an autistic child or adult, since first responders would need to know about them when they arrive at the scene of the emergency.
“There has always existed a concern for our residents with special needs in the event of an emergency,” Legis. Kate Browning, WF-Shirley, said in a statement. “A little boy in my district with autism had a fascination with police officers and their guns, which led me to hold a training program for our emergency responders.”