A new county-wide service gives residents the option of providing emergency responders with information to speed help when needed. Through the new Smart 911 system, residents can privately and securely register important information from the location of bedrooms and number of residents to types of medical conditions or disabilities such as wheelchair usage or deafness. The service, which is free to residents, also allows users to link their mobile phone number to their household so the 911 dispatch center instantly knows the address of the caller’s residence.
“Having added information beforehand can help us get to patients that much quicker,” said Dan Lamb, Assistant Fire Chief. “Say we have an elderly person who needs our help, and they cannot unlock their door to let us in, just knowing ahead of time where we can access a key or other means of entry to the home can save us precious minutes,” he said.
Porter County is the first in Indiana to utilize the system, though it’s been used successfully in many communities nationwide. Valparaiso’s Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disabilities brought the service to the county’s attention and it was initiated early in August.