The Smart911 Service Provides 9-1-1 Call Takers with Additional Information to Improve the Quality and Timing of Response to Emergencies
Both counties are introducing Smart911, a digital database that allows residents to input up to 100 pieces of personal information, from photos of children to medical histories. That information can be accessed by 911 dispatchers during an emergency call.
Currently, a 911 call from a landline gives the operator the telephone number where the call originated and the street address. When the call originates from cellphones — which officials said make up about 70 percent of all emergency calls — dispatchers can determine the location of the calls within about 300 yards.
“I can call my pizza shop from my cellphone and they have more information about me than 911,” said April Heinze, director of Eaton County Central Dispatch.
Michigan 911 Administrator Harriet Miller-Brown said several recent cases highlight how the Smart911 system helps with emergency services. She cited the case of a lost child whose photograph was immediately transmitted to local police units and a heart attack victim whose medical history was transmitted to responding emergency medical service units while they were en route to the location.
“Smart911 is especially beneficial to those with a medical condition or disability,” said Sunfield Fire Chief Tim Janes. “Those valuable seconds or even minutes we can save by dispatching the appropriate response teams immediately can be lifesaving.”
Residents can create personal files at www.smart 911.com. The person signing up decides what information to include — as little as the street address or up to 100 or more pieces of information.
The program is voluntary and data is kept in a private encrypted database until a 911 call is made from a number stored in the user’s profile. The profile then becomes available to the 911 dispatcher.
Common information in files include alternate phone numbers, home address, medical information, number and location of bedrooms in the home and which ones are occupied, how many children live in the home, photos of family members, location of utility shutoffs, emergency contacts and information on pets.
Posted on November 26, 2013, Written by Alan Miller