9-1-1 Center Joins ‘Smart’ System to Improve Responses
August 16, 2011
The Columbia and Boone County 911 center is the first in the state to use a “Smart911” system that provides personal and medical information about callers who register.
The Public Safety Joint Communications Center began using the system today.
“Simply put, Smart911 can shorten response time in a critical situation,” said Zim Schwartze, director of Joint Communications. The system can make information about people and their family members available to emergency responders more quickly, including such details as previous medical conditions, disabilities or other relevant information.
The local 911 center purchased the system for $25,000 from Massachusetts-based Rave Mobile Safety. Schwartze said Joint Communications got the system for about half price because it is the first 911 center in Missouri to provide the service.
Residents can log on to a secure website and register information they want to make available to the 911 operators. That information can include medical conditions and allergies, home addresses of mobile phone users, disabilities, details about pets and other rescue-related information.
Brian Maydwell, Joint Communications systems support analyst, said the information entered is completely secure and only viewable by emergency personnel when the registered user calls 911. The information is then only available for the amount of time necessary to address the emergency. Schwartze said her staff contacted Nashville, Tenn., and other larger users to see how the Smart911 system was being used and whether other agencies had any concerns about the system’s security.