Today is Amber Alert Awareness Day, marking the 18 year anniversary of the day Amber Hagerman was abducted while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and later found murdered. In April of 2003, in her honor, President Bush signed into law the PROTECT Act, which statutorily established the national AMBER Alert™ coordinator role. Since, the AMBER Alert Program has been credited with more than 675 successful recoveries of missing or abducted children. The AMBER Alert Program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies and the wireless industry to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases.
In honor of this day, Smart911 is encouraging parents to create a Safety Profile for their household at www.smart911.com which can include current photos and physical descriptions of their children. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the first three hours are the most critical when trying to locate a missing child. When a child is reported missing it can take up to an hour or more to have a current photo distributed to law enforcement officers in the field. If the family has a Smart911 Safety Profile, and dials 9-1-1 in any of the 450+ communities across the country with the service, their child’s photo and description will be immediately available to call-takers and can be passed on to law enforcement officials in the field, launching a search in seconds or minutes as opposed to hours.
Smart911 allows citizens to create a free Safety Profile for their household with information they want 9-1-1 and emergency responders to have during an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call-taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information.
A mother in Arkansas experienced the added protection benefits offered by Smart911 when she received a call that her daughter did not get off of the bus at daycare. Frantic, she dialed 9-1-1 and her family’s Smart911 Safety Profile appeared, including her daughter’s photo and description. The call-taker was able to use that information to send deputies to the scene immediately. You can listen to the call here: http://youtu.be/7Nfwol3Zi8k
“As a parent, having a child go missing can be the most terrifying moment: you may not be able to think straight, give important information or communicate effectively,” said Tom Axbey, CEO of Rave Mobile Safety, creators of Smart911. “We’ve seen firsthand how Smart911 can assist in this process, bringing immediate peace-of-mind to a parent by knowing their child’s information is already in the hands of law enforcement. We encourage all parents to create a Safety Profile as an act of extra preparedness for their family.”
Introduced nearly three years ago by Rave Mobile Safety, the trusted software partner for campus and public safety, Smart911 has been adopted in 33 states and more than 450 municipalities. It has been credited with positively impacting emergency situations across the U.S., including the missing child case in Arkansas, and saving lives, such as a heart attack victim in Nashville.