Hamilton County officials recently announced its use of a new program that will help first responders and residents alike.
The county now is taking part in Smart911, a program that allows residents to provide information about themselves that might be useful to police, firefighters, paramedics and 911 operators should they need to utilize 911 services.
Smart911’s primary use is to link phone numbers to medical information that may be pertinent. Someone who is enrolled can link important information, like medical conditions, their home address, other members of the household and their physical descriptions and medical needs and more. Then, when someone calling from that phone number calls 911, the dispatcher is able to see the information that has been provided to then communicate it with first responders.
“Smart911 is a service that may help someone to be safer and more prepared when an emergency happens,” said Jeff Schemmer, executive director of Hamilton County Public Safety Communications. “Currently, when someone calls 911, the only location that is provided is either a (cell) tower address or a latitude and longitude. Smart911 allows you to link your cell phone number to your address. Should you call 911, the system will catch your number and provide us the address you have linked to it. If you call from somewhere other than your home, the technology in the system provides dispatch greater capabilities in delivering a more accurate location. It (also) allows you to enter information about family members that may have special needs, such as confined to wheelchair, autism, etc.
Schemmer said the tool is especially useful if someone calls 911 but is not able to provide important information by phone to the dispatcher. In addition to medical information, an individual’s profile also can contain a description of their home and vehicles.
Smart911 is free, and a profile can be created at smart911.com or through the Smart911 smartphone app.