The North Platte 911 Center is encouraging residents to create a safety profile as a part of the Smart911 program.
According to 911 Supervisor Mary Ann Agler, the 911 center receives 73 percent of their calls from cellular devices, which can make it difficult to determine the exact location and identity of the caller.
A Smart 911 profile makes that process easier for dispatchers and emergency responders, because information such as address, family members and special direction are already on hand for their use.
"[It's] more information for our first responders," Agler said. "It allows people to provide more information, and we're happy to have more information."
The North Platte 911 center covers all of Lincoln County and Gothenburg, and having personal information at the ready for dispatchers can especially help those living in rural areas.
"It's not unusual for a person out in the county to live a half mile off the road," Agler said. "This allows someone to say 'my address is this, but my home is further on down this road.' Say, if you were to go into a farmstead and there's multiple residences on a farm, you can say, 'my house is this one.' You can even enter a picture of your house.'"
The program is also very helpful for the hard-of-hearing, or the elderly, Agler said.
The dispatch center has been using the program for several months, and Agler said that they have been speaking to various civic groups in the community and receiving positive feedback.
"We're trying to encourage people to sign up for it," she said.
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