Smart911 Back-To-School Campaign Launched To Keep Kids Safe



What if your child goes missing?

With most students starting back to class on Sept. 2, Smart911 has launched its back-to-school campaign to help parents keep their child safe. The national public safety service is free and available in Ottawa County, including the entire city of Holland, according to Tim Smith, executive director of Ottawa County Central District.

School districts are receiving multiple fliers and other literature to help reach out to parents and community members with a message about the emergency service. Parents can create a safety profile online that includes any information about themselves and their household that they want 9-1-1 to have in an emergency.

"We hope families won't need to use it, but they will be prepared," said Jessica Rose, community marketing manager for Massachusetts-based Smart911.

The message to families is all about saving time and lives by having the information on file.

Rose said they want schools to disseminate the information via multiple channels, including in newsletters, school orientations, welcome back packets and gatherings. She said they work with 1,000 communities, including eight Michigan counties.

The fliers target elementary, middle and high school students. They range from the dramatic, showing an ambulance with the caption "Be Smart About Safety," to value messages. For example, one features a teen with a cell phone that says, "Can this cell phone protect her in an emergency," urging parents to tie the cell to their Smart911 safety profile.

Besides Ottawa, the other counties served are: Barry, Ionia, Van Buren, Kalkaska, Eaton, Crawford and Grand Traverse.

Some of the literature includes a school safety checklist for returning students such as not putting a child's name on his or her backpack or clothing, and setting texting and social media boundaries.

To sign up and create a profile, visit the website. Residents can also visit the Ottawa County Administrator's Digest for more information (Pages 3,5 and 6).

Families can also follow Smart911 on Facebook and Twitter for the latest content posted


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