Quincy police on Thursday started utilizing the Smart 911 program in partnership with Brewster Ambulance. Brewster has been using Smart 911, a free digital service for citizens, for Quincy's medical calls since it took over as the city's ambulance company in July.
Quincy’s police department is the latest public-safety agency to adopt a technology designed to strengthen emergency responses.Quincy police on Thursday started utilizing the Smart 911 program in partnership with Brewster Ambulance. Brewster has been using Smart 911, a free digital service for citizens, for Quincy’s medical calls since it took over as the city’s ambulance company in July.
Residents who sign up for Smart 911 provide personal information that is linked to their cell-phone numbers. When a subscriber dials 911, that data shows up on a computer screen at a dispatch center, providing responders with potentially critical information they may not get if the caller is distressed or in pain.
“We’ll have a head start on getting our resources rolling,” Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan said Thursday. “It expedites the 911 process.”
Information that can be entered includes the number of people who live at a residence, location of bedrooms, allergies or medical conditions, vehicle registration and even descriptions of pets. Officials say this info can be helpful on police, fire and EMS calls.
Quincy residents can set up Smart 911 profiles for free by visiting www.smart911.com. The program, created by Framingham-based Rave Mobile Safety, is optional and residents can choose what information they want to provide.
Locally, the service is used by Stoughton’s police department and by Brewster for medical calls in Braintree, Plymouth and Middleboro. Fallon Ambulance, which serves Weymouth and Milton, also has adopted the program.
When interviewed over the summer, Jeff Jacobson, Brewster’s director of training and education, said more than 5,000 people had signed up for Smart 911 in Brewster communities. He said the service doesn’t pose a risk of a personal data breach, because the server is secure and it doesn’t ask for information such as date of birth or Social Security number.
Jacobson cited several examples of how the service improved responses and potentially saved lives. In Braintree, Smart 911 was used to notify a babysitter of a 4-year-old boy’s peanut allergy and a dispatcher told her to where the anti-allergy drug epinephrine was located in the child’s home.
And in Quincy, Jacobson said EMS workers were notified of a type of blood-thinner medication that a stroke victim was on, changing the way they treated him.
“It’s an unbelievable system,” Jacobson said.
Keenan said Quincy police are using the Smart 911 program at no cost to the taxpayer. Brewster has donated three of its Smart 911 licenses to city police.
Mark Brewster, CEO of Brewster Ambulance, said the company has nine licenses in total and pays Rave Mobile Safety $5,000 per license.