Yaphank - (WALK) Imagine emergency responders knowing exactly where you are, the unique medical conditions of you and your loved ones, and even the number and location of pets in your home, even before they get to your home in an emergency.
Suffolk officials say that's smart, and you'd be smart to take advantage of the service that makes it possible. They introduced Smart911 at the county's Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services headquarters in Yaphank Tuesday, and said the system is ready to receive information from residents.
Smart911 technology permits residents to create a "Safety Profile" (pictured above) for individuals and families, featuring any information they want responders to have at their fingertips in the event of an emergency. It's already available in 31 states and more than 350 municipalities throughout the U.S., and is a product of Rave Mobile Safety, based in Framingham, Massachusetts.
When a participating resident dials 911, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the operator, who can then send responers to the correct location with crucial information that can save lives, according to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. Information can include drug reactions, allergies, or any specific medical or even emotional condition.
"When you create your Safety Profile, you choose what information to include and what details are important to share with responders," said Bellone. "Your safety profile is 100 percent private and secure, and only available to 911 when you place an emergency call."
The modern response system also accomodates today's communications devices. Nationally, about 70 percent of all calls to 911 are made from mobile phones. Fire and rescue personnel say mobile phone users can help save time and assure rapid location-and-rescue by creating a Smart911 "Safety Profile," especially those who are residents of multi-unit buildings or housing developments.
County officials say the cost of the Smart911 system is approximately $40,000 per year, but is available to Suffolk through federal grants distribute by New York State.