The state of Arkansas is now the first state to implement a program aimed at saving time and saving lives during an emergency.
Residents can now create a profile on www.smart911.com. Once the user creates a profile their important information will automatically appear for 911 operators and police officers when the user calls for help. The information includes addresses, names of emergency contacts or family members, allergies and special needs.
This information is crucial for operators now because more people are using cell phones instead of land lines–which automatically display a person’s address. The state is using $1M in Stimulus Money to pay for the software.
State Senator Gilbert Baker says it’s a small price to pay when it comes to saving lives.
“It’s a national database meaning, when you dial 911 from any location in the United States that has Smart 911 service installed, your profile will be immediately available to all of those call takers,” he said.
Since this is funded through one-time stimulus money, Senator Baker says the state legislature will have to come up with additional funding. “One of the things that you can do is take a person’s photograph and send it out to law enforcement officers responding to the wandering Alzheimer’s patient and they’ll be able to find that person quick.”With the state’s growing Alzheimer’s population, this new program will be especially beneficial, according to Steven Gann, Crawford County Emergency Management Planning Chairman.
Gann and other emergency dispatchers viewed a video Monday afternoon at the Emergency Operations Center in Van Buren to get a better understanding of how the system works.