National Smart911 Technology Looks to Improve 9-1-1 Services


smart911 demo buttonA relatively new program called "Smart911" allows users to provide important information online before an emergency happens.

Arkansas opted to use the software statewide back in 2012.

"We have a daughter that had a kidney transplant and a knee replacement, and those things are good to know if you're out on the road driving or at the home," says Boone County 911 director, Herb Lair.

Lair says while regular 911 ties your name and location to your landline, Smart911 ties that information and more to your landline and cell phones.

The director says that is important because of the some 26,000 calls the hub receives a year, nearly 90 percent come from cell phones.

"People tend to get into a little bit of a panic mode when something happens," says Lair.

"Us having a three-minute response time," says Harrison Fire investigator, Clint Nichols, "It really helps getting that information fast."

Nichols says knowing information like where bedrooms are located during a fire, or what medication someone is taking following a wreck is vital.

"It takes so long once you get on the scene to get that information," says Nichols, "If you've got that when you first step out of the truck, you've got that much more to help save someone's life."

Herb Lair says Arkansas's $1.6 million investment is having success with residents and travelers around the Little Rock area. [...]

[...] Lair says there are safeguards against someone getting personal information, he says the only time his department can see it, is for a few minutes, when a 911 call comes in.

"We're still hoping people will call their local 911, or our 911, and put their basic information on there," says Nichols, "It's all free, and you don't have to put anything on there that you don't want to."

Arkansas was the first state to implement Smart911. Click here to learn more about the program or to create your online profile.

The program was launched in 2010, and is now in over 1,000 communities across 37 states.



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