Wyoming County residents are being encouraged to take advantage of an advanced communication system which provides information to dispatch centers from participants if they have to call 9-11.
According, to Jeff Porter, who oversees Wyoming County’s emergency communications center, Smart 911 is a nationwide database developed by RAVE Mobile Safety which provides information to subscribing dispatch centers when a participant makes a 9-11 call.
Wyoming County subscribed to the service a few years ago, Porter explained. Over the past 12 months, he said, Wyoming County has received advanced information from 162 people calling 9-11 who registered with Smart911.
Signing up for Smart911 is free, Porter explained, and can be done at www.smart911.com.
The website allows a participants to build a profile, containing various information that could be helpful in an emergency situation. First time users will be assigned a password and asked to provide their email address. Participants can update their profile at any time with new information.
“Each person can add any medical information or history that they have,” Porter explained.
Among the information include personal or businesses addresses; home or cellular phone numbers; and emergency contacts. People can indicate a preferred provider if they require medical assistance.
“There’s a place for vehicle information,” he said. “It can used if your vehicle is stolen. The license plate, the registration, the color, what model it is.”
Other information that can be posted on the site include blood type, allergies, breathing problems, and medical histories such as cancer or heart disease.
“It’s very, very in-depth,” Porter explained.
People can even provide data about specific families members, outlining such problems as dementia, cognitive problems, or other special disabilities. There’s also a category for pets.
“There’s even a free text box, where people can include additional information not covered in any of the categories,” Porter said.
The website also has the capability of providing a physical description of a residence or other building - including the type of house, and the exterior color.
“If we get a 9-11 hang up call, the profile provides us with a description of person,” Porter explained. “We normally can’t obtain that kind of information from a cell phone, but we can if the person is using Smart911.
The data from the website can also be used to help locate a missing person, Porter said.
A call center can quickly obtain descriptions and photos that can be shared with local authorities.
“It can help save a lot of time,” he said.
RAVE has also announced a new feature for Smart911 in which a business can provide such data as building floor plans, emergency contact numbers, and the number of floor in the building.
“There’s even the capability of providing a physical description of the room where a particular phone is located in the building,” Porter said.
Porter emphasized that the information stored on the Smart911 database is 100 percent secure. The only time it is released is if someone makes a 9-11 emergency call.
“Smart911 saves critical minutes when a child goes missing, a house is on fire, or during medical emergencies,” Porter said.