Kosciusko County is one of the few counties in the state, as of July 31, to implement the Smart911 program, designed to help citizens be proactive and prepared in the event of an emergency.
Smart911 is a free service, sponsored by local municipalities and 911 call centers, making an effort to save time in responding to emergencies. Call centers and first responders will immediately have information about the caller who has filled out a safety profile through Smart911, according to a press release from the Smart911 office.
Even if a person is unable to speak or communicate, 911 centers will be able to ping the phone’s location and send out emergency responders, according to David Rosenberry, 911 director with Kosciusko 911 Communications.
Filling out the free profile on the Smart911 website, www.smart911.com, allows 911 dispatchers to associate household information to those who register for either themselves or their families.
“At a time when more and more people are relying on cellphones to communicate, which may only provide limited information on a 911 call,” Rosenberry said, “it’s critical that we can effectively utilize available technology to better respond to those individuals. Smart911 does this by automatically displaying the caller’s safety profile to the 911 dispatcher.”
Personal accounts can include photos, medical history, house information, pets, cars and emergency contacts. All provided information is stored securely by Smart911, and is only available to 911 when a call is made from a number associated with the safety profile.
All phone numbers connected to a residence can be entered into the database. This can include a husband, wife or children’s land line, cellphone or any other number they may have. Work information can also be attached.
In order to stay current, all accounts need to be validated every six months. If the information is not updated by that time, the information will still exist, but it is not active, Rosenberry said. To make it active again, simply sign in again.
This service has been adopted in 35 states and more than 500 municipalities. Porter County and Vigo County in Indiana are the only ones, in addition to Kosciusko County, to make Smart911 available, according to the press release.