City leaders say two new enhancements to Atlanta’s 911 system will soon save lives. The changes, including the Smart 911 system and the Everbridge Citizen Alert System, went live Thursday.
“Police can come up to your home know how many children are in the house, know whether you have people with health conditions,” Mayor Kasim Reed said. “While they’re in the vehicle they can have this information. We feel confident it will change people’s lives.”
Citizens who choose to take part in the system can voluntarily register vital information at atlantapd.org.
Information can include medical history, the location of a bed-ridden resident, the presence of a special needs child in the home and prescription drugs information.
Reed said the information is protected.
“Info can’t be activated or accessed unless you place a 911 phone call,” he said. “We understand there are privacy concerns, that’s why it’s entirely voluntary.”
Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran said the system will allow first responders to be better prepared when they arrive to a scene.
“Firefighters and EMT’s can begin to make triage decisions en route so, when they arrive on scene they already know the drug therapy and other modes of treatment to stabilize that patient,” Cochran said.
You can also sign up multiple devices on the Citizens Alert Web page powered by Everbridge.
That’s the same system that was used to alert students at Virginia Tech during a recent shooting on campus.
Once registered, participants can get emails and text messages when crucial information needs to go out.
“We can actually notify specific geographical areas of impending danger and give them instructions on how to be safe,” Cochran said.
City officials said the programs will be paid for out of the general fund, at no additional cost to taxpayers.
“It’s approximately $150,000 but to reduce property loss and to save one life or to prevent someone from dying from a medical emergency the first case of that will pay for itself,” Cochran said.
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