Smart911: Saving lives through information sharing

Arkansas is the first state in the country to launch Smart911, an enhanced public safety and emergency dispatching system. Although not in every 911 center, Smart 911 is in more than 300 centers and in 25 states. The Howard County Sheriff’s Office E911 answering point is only a few weeks away from having this technology available to our citizens.

Smart911 is a safety software solution allowing citizens anywhere in the country to create a Safety Profile free of charge. This profile includes critical data such as medical condition, medications, photographs, layout of the residence, vehicle and pet information, location clarifications and emergency notifications which is relayed directly to 911 operators when a call is placed to 911 from the registered phone number. Safety Profiles are 100 percent safe and secure and must be validated every six months.

Every telecommunications operator, has had to say, "It would have been helpful to know certain information at the time of the call." This could have been in reference to a citizen’s medical condition including current medications and allergies. It could be guiding officers through your house because the intruder is inside. What about a current picture of your missing child?

Citizen’s know themselves best. They know their vulnerabilities and their risk points. Unfortunately, they tend to forget to relay this type of information when they are in panic mode. For example: 1) A person could add that their son is autistic and reacts violently to flashing lights. 2) Would it be helpful to know that a caller has dementia and is not on drugs? 3) That a caller is not capable of answering your questions?

Along with the autistic community, another group benefitting from Smart911 is the deaf and hard of hearing. If someone flags themselves deaf or hard of hearing in their profile, they would get access to the Smart911 app.

When traveling, if you are in an area with Smart911, your Safety Profile will come up.

The emergency dispatchers are very excited about providing better service. They see how having this information and relaying it to the responders at the time of need helps the family. After all, we are in the life-saving business and if we are given tools that help us do our jobs better, faster and with positive results, what’s not to be excited about?

I urge the citizen’s of Howard County to go to http://www.smart911.com and complete your Safety Profile.

Jana Tallant
Jail Administrator