Milford on Tuesday officially became the first town in the state to offer Smart 911, a system that allows residents to share personal information with public safety personnel ahead of time to speed responses and care.
"In an emergency, seconds and minutes count,” said Police Chief Tom O’Loughlin. “Knowing your apartment number, knowing about special needs, immediately having a picture of a missing person and information about conditions can be critical to a successful outcome.”
Residents are encouraged to visit www.smart911.com and create a profile including any pertinent information they want responders to know in emergencies, including medical conditions, information about their home and even photos of family members and pets.
This information is particularly helpful, O’Loughlin said, on callers using a cell phone.
“Over 70 percent of incoming calls are from a mobile phone,” O’Loughlin said. “The only information dispatchers have is the phone number and location using GPS, but this can make it difficult to pinpoint exact location. All of that changes with Smart 911.”
The profile is housed in a secure national database, not at the Milford Police Department, and the information is only provided to the police when a person calls 911.
O’Loughlin explained that when someone calls 911, their Smart 911 profile will automatically come up and then can be sent to the tablet computers in officers' cruisers.
Fire Chief John Touhey also stressed the benefit of having this information in all types of emergencies, including fires and car accidents.
“Knowing the location of bedrooms, any special access or preexisting medical conditions can … help us better assess the situation once on scene,” Touhey said. “Knowing about medical conditions helps our teams determine treatment.”
The system, offered by Rave Mobile Safety located in Framingham, will cost $15,000 this year, then $10,000 per year for the next five years. O’Loughlin said the program will be funded through grants and forfeiture money this year.
“We like to think in Milford that we are innovative and forward-looking, particularly in the area of public safety,” said selectmen Chairman Brian Murray. “We’re pleased to be on the cutting edge of this technology.”
Officials encouraged residents to create a profile today to better prepare themselves or their family for an emergency.
All profiles are controlled entirely by the resident and Smart 911 reminds residents to update their profile every six months so information does not become out of date.