South Carolina County Launches Smart911 Program

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The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office new Smart911-- a program created to get information to dispatchers quicker -- could mean you get help faster throughout the county and on Hilton Head Island in S.C.

(TNS) -- When you call 911, you're not likely to be at your calmest.

The Beaufort County, S.C., Sheriff's Office new Smart911-- a program created to get information to dispatchers quicker -- could mean you get help faster throughout the county and on Hilton Head Island.

The website, unveiled Monday, allows residents and businesses to create a free, safety profile online that lists health information, names and photos of family members, pets in the home, floor plans, vehicle details and emergency contacts.

"We are trying to target as many residents as possible," Maj. David Zeoli, deputy division commander of the sheriff's office emergency management division, said. "The more the better."

It's all about moving quicker and eliminating confusion, the Sheriff's Office said.

"If you have a missing child and have a profile, it saves time because we already have the child's picture," Zeoli said.

All information within the profiles is voluntary, and each residence or business decide which details to include, the Sheriff's Office said.

Here's how it works:

Once 911 is dialed, the caller's safety profile will appear on the dispatcher's screen.

Zeoli said that information is then given to emergency responders on their way to the scene.

The website prompts each person or business that signs up for a profile to update their information every six months.

The program also helps those making the call from a mobile phone since the safety profile will give first responders a location to go to, even if cell phone service is poor, the Sheriff's Office said.

If floor plans are included in the profile, firefighters know where to enter a home, the Sheriff's Office said.

Smart911 has been used by public safety agencies in 40 states, and over 1,500 municipalities, the Sheriff's Office said.

The program cost $50,000 and is paid for by county, but 80 percent of the money will be reimbursed through 911 South Carolina funds, Zeoli said.

"It just makes our job easier to provide better service," he said.

 

 

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