Smart911 Allows Citizens to Create Safety Profiles Online
June 05, 2011
Arkansas is leading the nation with a new program to increase emergency response time. State officials announced we’re the first state in the nation to implement Smart911.
With most Americans using cell phones these days it can be difficult for dispatchers to send out emergency responders to the right location. Smart 911 is supposed to help everyone who signs up get personal information out to the right people during times of need. “I have personal experience. I lost my uncle at the age of 40. And my family and I are all deaf,” says Jeff Prail, the First Vice President of the Arkansas Association of the Deaf.
His family’s experience motivated him and state officials to help get Smart911 in Arkansas. A user creates an online profile that pops up on 911 operator’s screen. It can include health information, address, and pictures.
“I don’t want that experience that I had to happen to others,” says Prail.
Andrew Gutteridge with Smart911 says it’s one of the best ways to protect his family.
“My son is the most important person to me, and I want first responders to have all the information available about him,” says Gutteridge.
Smart 911 Software is currently available at 911 call centers in Searcy and North Little Rock. Smart911 representatives say it will take a year before it’s fully-implemented statewide. The state is using $1 million in stimulus money to fund the program for the first year. After that, the state will have to find money elsewhere to pay for the program.
This information enables emergency responders to have a comprehensive understanding of the scene before they arrive. For example, EMTs will know such things as existing medical conditions, allergies and disabilities, facilitating precise life-saving treatment. Fire crews will know not only how many residents are at a home, but locations of bedrooms, residents with special needs and even if there are pets on-premise. Police will understand if a caller has a history of being threatened, and have instant access to a child’s personal information and a photograph for launching an Amber Alert.
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