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Smart911 program strengthens emergency response

Posted: 11:41 AM, Feb 18, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-18 16:41:50Z

Strengthening the response by emergency personnel with Smart911.

"When the 911 call comes in, this screen will pop up and this is what will display for the dispatchers," explained Director of the Ingham County Central Dispatch, Lance Langdon. "This is the profile that is built by the individual person with what information they want to share."

Like details of every member of your household, including pets. And, all phone numbers and addresses such as work and a vacation home.

"You can put a picture in for each person. It shows their age, their gender, height, weight, they provided all that kind of information - this person has a mild allergy to penicillin that they've included," he said.

Having medical information beforehand is crucial for fire departments. Delhi Chief Brian Ball said 80% of their calls have been medical runs recently.

"We can be so much more prepared coming into the house; and, instead of spending ten minutes in a house getting history, getting the drugs, we'll have it. And that will cut down scene response," Chief Ball said.

And, in the case of a fire, Chief Ball asks you take advantage of the option to include a floor plan and photo of your home.

"You want to talk about a difference in life or death, that's it. If we know that that child is in that bedroom, on that first floor and I can send my firefighters there right off the bat, you're talking a huge difference," he said.

And, police ask that you add a photo to each family member on your profile.

"If that child should go missing or say it's a silver alert with an elderly person and that person goes missing, we now have a photo that we can work with right when we respond to the call," explained F/Lt. Joseph Thomas.

All of the information included in a profile can be accessed by other dispatch centers that have the Smart 911 program. So, if you're traveling or just happen to be in Eaton County for the afternoon and call 911, emergency responders will be able to access your profile.

Langdon assures us that the information is saved in a private database.

He says your profile can only be accessed when you call 911. They can't go back and search that information.

But, if you hang up before someone answers or if you can't speak to the dispatcher because you're hiding in a bathroom, they can initiate a text to you to make sure you're alright.

They have to initiate the text conversation, you cannot text 911.

To create your own profile, go to www.smart911.com