Sussex County is Now a Smart911 Protected Community


In Sussex County, 911 response systems are getting "smarter." The county rolled out its new response system on Thursday called "Smart 911" which relays personal information of the phone owners to first responders at a fast pace.

People at home can visit to sign up for the new program. In the online portal, people can leave information on medical conditions, home details, and even photos, that will be sent to first responders in the case of an emergency.

"What you're really doing is answering the dispatchers questions before the emergency happens," said Jessica Rose, who works for Smart 911.

In Sussex County, the operation centers receive more than 100,000 calls every year, and in recent years the calls have become primarily from cell phones. More than 80 percent of the calls in 2014 were from cell phones. Before this new system, it was impossible to gather information on the calls from cell phones.

"If they can have that information provided to them when they're on route to the emergency," said Rose. "As soon as they get on scene, they already have a better idea of how they want to treat the patient. And what action they need to take."

The new system will come at a cost for both Sussex County and the towns of Rehoboth Beach and Seaford. The county will pay more than $200,000 over five years. For Rehoboth and Seaford, that number will be just over $55,000.

The new system is used by many nearby areas, such as D.C. and New Castle County.


WBOC-16 (CBS) News 9-11-14


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