New Castle County public safety officials today rolled out a new program aimed at enhancing 911 service to its residents.
It is the first location in the state to offer the national safety service SMART911 that opens up direct communication between public safety officials and the public.
This new level of technology empowers the public to engage and communicate with officials to save time, and maybe even lives, in an emergency situation, said Jeffrey Miller, acting New Castle County Chief of Communications.
The Smart911 program lets residents create their own safety profiles so mergency responders will know how many people are in the household, where the bedrooms are located, if any pets are on the premises, specific medical conditions anyone in the household, such as allergies, and the names of any medications members of their family might be prescribed.
Then when a resident calls 911 in an emergency situation, their safety profile will be automatically displayed on the screen of a 911 call taker, who will then be able to be proactive in dispatching the proper response teams, arm them with the correct information and send them to the exact location, said Antonio Prado, spokesman for New Castle County Government.
Firefighters, for instance, can arrive at the scene of a fire knowing how many people live in that home and the locations of the bedrooms, while paramedics will have information beforehand on whether the residents have any specific medical conditions.
“Smart911 would be especially valuable if a caller had a medical condition that may be preventing them from speaking,” said county EMS Chief Lawrence Tan. “EMS personnel can be dispatched with instructions to prepare for a patient with an inability to communicate. It also has the capability of forwarding critical medical information that is provided by a patient to the responding EMS personnel.”
In cases of missing children, parents can have their child’s photo uploaded into their profile so investigating officers can have the missing child’s photo in hand in seconds, instead of hours.
“We can now have the home address of a mobile phone caller and can approach the scene of an emergency knowing more about a household, including who lives there and even pets that may be in the home, which provides greater safety for our officers,” said county police chief Col. Elmer Setting.
The software for this program has been in used for nearly three years and Smart911 has been adopted in 31 states and more than 350 municipalities.
Smart911 data is private and secure and is only used for emergency responders in the event of an emergency, Prado said.
Residents can go to Smart911.com to set up their profile. They can give as much or as little information as they like.