National Database Now Available to Enhance Emergency Response
Citizens in Douglas County now have an advantage in emergency response thanks to the implementation of Smart911, a national safety database that provides 9-1-1 and response teams with enhanced data in emergency situations. Currently available in over 22 states, Smart911 allows citizens to create a free Safety Profile of the critical data on their household that they want 9-1-1 to have in the event of an emergency. Once created, when a citizen places an emergency call, their profile is immediately made available to 9-1-1 and responders. This data is far more detailed than what is currently available and allows response teams to have a better understanding of an emergency situation before they arrive on scene.
“Having the additional information provided by a Safety Profile is a great benefit to our response teams,” said Douglas County Sheriff, Ken McGovern. “In their profile a citizen can tell us who lives in their house, what their medical conditions may be, if they have pets and where children’s bedroom locations are. If a child is missing, parents can have their current photo and description in their profile, allowing officers to have that photo in hand much faster. In an emergency, more information means greater effectiveness, saving invaluable time and lives.”
According to the FCC, about 70% of incoming 9-1-1 calls are made from mobile devices each year. Determining the location of these calls quickly can be difficult. The data provided by a Smart911 Safety Profile, which can include the home and work addresses of mobile phone users, can greatly improve the ability to locate a caller quickly.
“I am extremely proud that Douglas County has taken the lead to be the first county in the state to offer this potentially lifesaving opportunity to all residents,” said Senator Marci Francisco (D). “I hope that other counties will soon follow to offer enhanced response so it can be available throughout Kansas.”
While Smart911 has benefits for all citizens, it greatly enhances response for those with a disability. Each citizen with a disability may have their own unique needs and therefore need their own unique response in an emergency. The ability to include all details on an individual, what their condition may be, and notes on how best to respond to them is a great advantage not only to that citizen, but also to responders. Independence, Inc. is a resource center for people with disabilities in Lawrence, Kansas, serving Douglas, Franklin and Jefferson Counties. “When first responders have information about an individual, they can be more effective providing assistance during an emergency,” stated Independence, Inc. Deputy Director Bob Mikesic. “We encourage all members of our community and their families to create a Smart911 Safety Profile in order to be prepared should an emergency occur.”
For those who may be Deaf or Hard of Hearing, communicating with 9-1-1 quickly can be difficult. Smart911 will now allow those citizens to indicate their condition in their profile, allowing dispatchers to facilitate better communication. “As a deaf citizen of Douglas County and a member of the Kansas Association of the Deaf, I advocate for access to communication for those with hearing loss,” said Rebecca Rosenthal, a Douglas County resident. “Smart 911 will improve access to 9-1-1 and first responder services. I encourage all citizens to register for this great service.”
Smart911 is free to all citizens and 100% private and secure. “All the data is stored in secure facilities across the country, and we only have access to a profile when a 9-1-1 call is made from that phone,” stated Scott Ruf, director of emergency communications in Douglas County. “Citizens have the ability to include only the information they want to make available, and can edit or update those details at any time. Even the smallest detail, such as the address associated with a mobile phone can make a big difference at the time of an emergency.” A Safety Profile can be created and maintained by visiting www.smart911.com .
“By deploying Smart911 and urging citizens to create a Safety Profile, Douglas County is demonstrating their commitment to delivering the most effective emergency services possible to area citizens,” said Tom Axbey, president and CEO, Rave Mobile Safety. “Municipalities are realizing how detailed information can dramatically improve emergency outcomes, and as this public/private partnership expands, we look forward to increased public safety across the entire country.”
About Douglas County Emergency Communications
Established in 1994, Douglas County Emergency Communications’ primary mission is to serve the citizens of Douglas County, including the cities of Baldwin, Eudora and Lawrence by acting as a communications link between the citizen who needs an emergency service response and those law enforcement, fire, and medical response agencies that provide such services. The department accomplishes this mission by providing enhanced 9-1-1 telephone services for the entire county (except the University of Kansas Campus), radio dispatching personnel and equipment for the 23 law enforcement, fire, and medical response agencies serving the cities, townships, and rural areas of Douglas County, Kansas.
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 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