While Smart911 continues to grow nationwide, Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes are among the first in Louisiana to implement the technology
The 911 call centers rolled out an online program Monday that allows residents to store critical information first responders can access in case of an emergency, Terrebonne 911 Director Mark Boudreaux said.
Smart911 allows people to enter details that will help emergency staff better assist 911 callers, and this information is secure, he said.
“The only way we can access the information is if you call 911,” Boudreaux said — and then for only 45 minutes. “It’s being used in a very discretionary, very private manner,” he said.
To enroll, residents can go to smart911.com and create a profile.
Residents can enter their telephone number into the program and securely associate it to their address, allergies, medical conditions and photos, Boudreaux said. When anyone with a profile dials 911, the information pops up on the dispatcher’s screen and gives responders’ a better understanding of what kind of help the person may need.
“One of the things that frustrates people is having to repeat information,” Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre said. But if you “can provide this information on the front end, it’ll only enhance the ability of the first responders to serve you in the event that you or your family needs help.”
These details can help save lives during an emergency such as a heart attack or severe allergic reaction, Boudreaux said.
“You may not be able to speak, but your profile shows that you have a heart condition,” he said.
Residents also can enter descriptions of their homes that firefighters can use in rescues. They can even enter their pets’ information so first responders can look out for dogs and cats in a fire. If a child becomes missing, dispatchers can immediately send his or her photo to police on patrol so they can start searching.
The program is growing nationwide, but Terrebonne and Lafourche are among the first in the Louisiana to implement the technology, Boudreaux said. Lake Charles started using it earlier this year.
Any 911 call center using the new program can access your profile when you call 911. If you get into a wreck in Atlanta and called 911, dispatchers there could access your profile, Boudreaux said.
Terrebonne will pay a little more than $1,000-per-month for the service while Lafourche will pay about $35,000 per year because it has more dispatchers.
By: Mary Kilpatrick
Published: November 25, 2013