In times of an emergency a distressed person may be unable to speak to 911 dispatchers or have trouble telling a specific location of an accident.
However, there is now a better way for emergency responders to find the location quickly and more accurately through the Smart 911 system nationwide database. The state of Arkansas is upgrading various 911 systems across the state and the Paragould Police Department is part of the process.
With the Smart 911 system a person can register home phone or cell phone numbers including additional information that would become available to emergency responders if those numbers dial 911.
According to PPD Captain Greg Trout, the Smart 911 system is an amazing advancement in emergency technology.
“You can add as much information as you like, including photos of your residence,” Trout said. “A person can add a home address or a business address to their information when they register in the Smart 911 system. If someone calls from a cell phone we can get a physical address and it will give us a good place to start.”
Trout said when someone registered in the system they could include as much personal information as they wanted. He said a person could even include family members, medical conditions, allergies and pet information.
“It’s amazing the amount of usable information you can put in the system, and any additional information will help emergency responders,” Trout said. “It’s nationwide so if I’m in Rhode Island and I need to call 911 they can get my information from the system to see how I can best be helped.”
Trout said if a person called in an emergency and could not speak to the dispatcher the information in the system would help that person be located.
“It will allow us to have a quicker responding times and it can provide us with information a dispatcher would normally have to ask for,” Trout said.
Trout said if a cell phone was used to dial 911 the dispatcher could receive information about who owned the line and relay tower information. He said it did not give an address but would give a general GPS location.
“To protect your privacy, this information is only available when your registered phone number is detected as having dialed 911,” Trout said. “It is not stored in a searchable database.”
Trout said the information registered was not restricted or controlled by a phone service carrier. He said regardless of what phone service a person had the Smart 911 service was free of charge.
“It is worthwhile for everyone to sign-up,” Trout said. “The state is taking care of upgrading the 911 systems to be compatible with the Smart 911 system. We won’t have to purchase anything or upgrade on our own. The state will take care of it.”
PPD Chief Todd Stovall recommended everyone consider registering.
“The more we have the better we can assist people,” Stovall said. “With Smart 911 people can put in vital information that cannot only assist us but it can assist the fire department and the EMS.”
To register information visit www.smart911.com.