Missoula emergency officials spreading word about "Smart 911" app

RAVE

The Missoula 911 center takes thousands of calls every month to help those in need.

Three years ago the center was the first city in Montana to join a national program known as "Smart 911." It describes itself as a tool to help communication between 911 centers across the country and the people they serve.

Here's how it works: You create an online profile which requires your name, email address, phone number and physical address. Then you have the option to add other details that may aid dispatchers and first responders in an emergency.

Emergency Management Projects Coordinator Nick Holloway says Smart 911 users can help save precious moments in the case of an emergency.

"That information allows people to enter medications, allergies, pet information, utility shut offs, how to get in the house, any information that could be useful to an emergency response," Holloway said.

Holloway says your information is secure, and is only viewed if you call 911 directly. You can also sign up for text message alerts if there is an emergency in your area. He says about 2,000 people in Missoula use the service, which is on the rise, but hopes to see that number grow even more.

"It'd be great if we could send emergency notifications to everybody we need to send them to when something comes up. We'd also like to see everybody have a safety profile so that smart 911 can do its job and help people and improve outcomes when something bad happens."

Smart 911 is used by about 1,200 communities across the US.

Butte\Silver Bow County is the only other county in the state that uses the service.

You can sign up for it at smart911.com.

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