Smart911 Growing in Puget Sound Popularity
EVERETT, Wash. – The next generation of 911 dispatch can tell first responders your medical information and how to get to your home quickly. The voluntary system is growing in popularity across Puget Sound.
Smart 911 arms operators and first responders with real-time, life-saving information as an emergency call is being made. Seventy-three percent of calls coming into the Snohomish County dispatch center in Everett are made on cell phones that are not tied to specific street addresses. That’s something Smart 911 is working to change.
“It’s a new year. It’s a great opportunity to look at your safety plans and look at your family emergency readiness as well as building that profile,” Crystal Ayco with SNOPAC 911 said. “You can provide as much or as little information, but it can be very valuable.”
When a registered user calls 911, the caller’s profile, which is tied to the phone number, automatically shows up on a dispatcher’s screen. That profile can include medical information, family members’ names and numbers, how many pets are in a household and detailed directions on how to get to a hard-to-find home, among other things.
The profile information also appears on first responders’ laptop computers while they’re responding to a call for help. The system, which is not even a year old in Snohomish County, has 3,000 users there. 911 operators say the system is already seeing success across the country.
Dispatch officials say there are plans to launch the system throughout King County, where there is currently limited service.
Snohomish County officials say residents should know the information they provide is voluntary and that it is kept safe.
“It’s a private, secure database that is only registered for the 911 emergency,” said Ayco.
To sign up, go to Smart911.com. The system allows you to stay connected to participating dispatch centers across the country.