North Augusta Department of Public Safety is making plans to help local South Carolina residents register detailed, personal information which will be useful in assisting first responders when someone finds it necessary to call 911.
Next Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., representatives from Public Safety and Emergency 911 Systems of Aiken County will be at the North Augusta Municipal Center to help local citizens enter helpful information about their households into a system called Smart911, according to NADPS spokesman Det. Sgt. Tim Thornton.
He explained that Smart911 coordinators are hoping that people will take advantage of this event. The program is designed to be proactive in cataloging answers to individual situations at specific locations as an assist to First Responders.
Among the items asked in the Smart911 system are facts about the home in which the person lives - Where are the bedrooms? How many people live in the house? Where is the electric panel, the heating unit, the water cutoff, etc. (The requested information here is in terms of direction - north, south, east or west.) Personal information included in the Smart911 form includes an individual’s driver’s license number, medications and allergies, any pertinent physical or medical issues (confined to wheelchair, amputee, cancer patient, etc.) Those participating in the program are also encouraged to upload a photo of the house and photos of each inhabitant - again to aid the First Responders in identifying the person they’re looking for. The program includes a request for emergency phone numbers.
And while providing any of this information is voluntary, Thornton said residents who sign up can be better assured that when an ambulance or fire truck or police officer is needed, vital information will already be in the First Responder’s hands before he arrives on the scene.
This specific, detailed information will be added to the basic information displayed on the dispatch screen at Public Safety headquarters when a participating resident calls 911 with an emergency. That information will then be relayed to the responding officer.
Anyone interested in being a part of this enhanced emergency system doesn’t have to wait until next Wednesday or report to the Municipal Center for assistance to sign up. Folks can register at home or on any computer at their own convenience. Simply go to aikencountysc.gov website and click on the Smart911 tab in the middle of the home page to register the helpful information.
For further information about the program, contact the E911 GIS Coordinator, Cathy Randall at 642-2054.
Thornton did say that providing this information to Smart911 is totally optional for the public.
“Regardless of whether or not the personal information is readily available, Public Safety will continue to respond to the emergency needs of North Augusta,” he said. “We encourage everyone to participate and hope to utilize modern technology to better serve the community.”