As First Statewide Use of Acclaimed Public Safety System Nears Completion, Dispatchers Already Fielding Thousands of Calls with Citizen Provided Data Proven to Save Time and Lives
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. & LITTLE ROCK, Ark., February 4, 2013 – In June 2012, Arkansas announced they would be first in the nation to implement Smart911statewide and bring greater protection to all of its nearly three million citizens. The fast-growing nationwide service enables citizens to create a Safety Profile online with information about their household they want 9-1-1 to have during an emergency call; details a dispatcher can quickly send to first responders in the field for more effective service. Today, officials reported that with the help of AT&T services, 90 percent of Arkansas’ 9-1-1 centers are now operational with Smart911, with about 30 percent having begun marketing efforts in their community. As a result, dispatchers have already handled more than 5,000 emergency calls supported by data from Smart911, which in a number of instances has helped to avert tragedy.
“Recently, an area mother called 9-1-1 when her child ran into a grill and received a laceration on the face,” said Tim Hearn, Executive Director of Fort Smith Emergency Medical Services. “Panic is natural during an emergency, and in the excitement, the mother didn’t mention the child had a lethal latex allergy. Because she had created a Safety Profile, our dispatcher immediately saw this detail and was able to alert first-responders. All it takes is a few minutes now to reduce the chance that a routine accident will cause more serious harm in the future.”
Citizens are encouraged to create their Safety Profile at www.Smart911.com. The service is secure and private with officials emphasizing information is only available to dispatchers during a 9-1-1 call. A Safety Profile can include data about an individual, family, a residence, even pets, ranging from details on medical conditions, disabilities and special needs to home addresses associated with mobile phones, utilities, emergency contacts and more. As a result, fire crews can be aware of such things as how many people live at a home and the location of bedrooms and gas valves. EMS can know about specific conditions for fast, precise medical treatment. And because profiles can contain photos, in the event of a missing child, police can gain an advantage, receiving critical information in seconds versus hours.
In a recent incident, Robyn, an Arkansas mother, called 9-1-1 when her daughter’s daycare alerted her that the child did not arrive on the school bus and they were unable to find her. Audio from her 9-1-1 call is now featured in a Smart911public service announcement. Because Robyn had created a Safety Profile, the dispatcher had immediate access to a photo of the girl and a description to pass on to deputies already en route to the school. In this case, Robyn’s daughter was quickly located by school officials. Arkansas’ Colleen Nick, founder of the Morgan Nick Foundation, a support network for parents and families of missing children, noted: “At the heart of Robyn’s situation is that law enforcement had instant access to the child’s photo and details. Had it have been a worse-case scenario, they would have been far ahead of normal protocol.”
The implementation has been facilitated with support from the Arkansas Emergency Telephone Services Board, the Sheriff’s Association and the Association of Counties. Smart911 has also received statewide marketing support from community and advocacy groups, including the Arkansas Chapter of Autism Speaks, Arkansas Realtors Association and the Arkansas Department of Human Services. According to the Arkansas Association for the Deaf; “This can dramatically improve our constituent’s ability to access 9-1-1 and first responder services. We endorse Smart911 and encourage all citizens to register for this lifesaving service.” Smart911 has also received many honors, including the “Parent Tested Parent Approved Winner’s Seal of Approval” from North America’s largest volunteer parent testing community.
With the statewide deployment nearly complete, public safety officials, supported by Rave Mobile Safety, creators of Smart911, have entered a new phase that will focus on increasing community awareness and citizen use of the system. Gary Gray, operations manager and emergency coordinator for North Little Rock Emergency Services, noted: “We’ve very excited about what this system enables our dispatchers and first responders to do for all Arkansans. We’re seeing the benefits and already Smart911 has potentially saved lives. Now, outreach is very important and we will be promoting it statewide so that every citizen can take advantage of Smart911 and enjoy the additional sense of security it brings.”
“Smart911 is now available in dozens of states and hundreds of municipalities,” said Tom Axbey, president and CEO, Rave Mobile Safety. “Arkansas has set a national example by being first to deploy the system statewide. The initiative has been overwhelmingly supported by bipartisan political leadership, public safety officials and advocacy groups, and each deserves credit for providing emergency responders with the best possible tool for helping all Arkansans.”
About Rave Mobile Safety
Rave Mobile Safety is the most trusted software partner for campus and public safety. Used by leading Institutes of Higher Education and State and Local Agencies, the award-winning portfolio of Rave SafeCampus, RaveAlert, RaveGuardian, Eyewitness, Smart911 and SmartPrepare enables millions to feel safe, secure and connected. Rave Mobile Safety is headquartered in Framingham, MA. For more information please visit www.ravemobilesafety.com.