Chesterton Tribune

Smart911 is up and running

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By DOUG ELISH

Smart911 has made it to Porter County.

The emergency information system intended to aid first responders when you dial 9-1-1 went online about a week ago and after working out all the technical issues is fully ready for use by all Porter County residents.

“We strongly encourage those who live, work and visit Porter County to register for this free service,” Porter County 9-1-1 Director David Sheibels said. “The information provided remains completely confidential and is only available to emergency responders in the event they call 9-1-1. The information provided can help save lives.”

The easiest way to sign up for the free service is online at http://smart911.com

The process can take as little as five minutes, depending on how much information you choose to provide and how many people are in your household.

The idea behind the service is simple. It allows residents to provide first responders, whether it’s EMS, police or firefighters, with any information that could assist them in providing more efficient emergency care.

All of the information entered into the system is kept confidential until the phone number, or numbers, that is registered calls 9-1-1 to request emergency service. Only then is your account opened for the first responders to access.

There are sections to provide information about your household such as a detailed description, the location of the bedrooms, where the emergency shutoffs are or special instructions on locating the home.

There are also sections for providing details on all the people living in the residence. This can be especially important for emergency responders to find or treat people with disabilities or handicaps.

The site also allows users to upload photos which can could be of assistance in locating people in an emergency or in a missing person situation. Instead of having to provide the police with a photo of a missing child, the system could immediately send a photo to every police station and vehicle saving precious time.

“Smart911 strengthens and expands our current 911 service by providing us with critical information about callers while enhancing our ability to locate and communicate with them,” Sheibels said. “This will help us provide more information to 9-1-1 call takers, as well as first responders before they arrive on the scene. From knowing why a victim is unable to speak to providing EMS with information about medical conditions to even having a photo of a lost child available immediately, the information provided by Smart911 will help us better serve our citizens.”

Additional information such as emergency contacts, pets, vehicles or any miscellaneous notes can also be uploaded onto the site.

“It’s really a great program,” Porter County Commissioner President John Evans said. “I predict before the end of the year, it will save somebody’s life.”

The software for the service is provided by Rave Mobile Safety, a company that provides this service nationwide.

“We are excited to add Porter County to the rapidly growing list of leading emergency communication centers across the nation that support Smart911,” Chief Product Officer at Rave Mobile Safety Todd Piett said. “The Porter County team is exceptional and we look forward to working with them in rolling out this solution.”

 

Posted 8/3/2011