Issaquah joins ‘Smart911’ service to connect callers, responders

October 16, 2012

By Staff

King County residents can soon upload personal information into a data service to assist 911 dispatchers and emergency responders.

The program, called Smart911, is a supplemental data service designed to allow residents to create personal safety profiles in a secure database. The information is meant to help crews find callers and assist in emergencies.

Rave Mobile Safety — based in Framingham, Mass. — developed Smart911. Smart911 is free for county residents, and registration is voluntary.

Organizers said the Smart911 service is poised to come online for the Issaquah Police Department this fall. The service should go online at all 911 centers countywide by year’s end.

Issaquah Police Cmdr. Stan Conrad said the service could debut in the city as early as October.

What to know

Residents can create a Smart911 profile and upload information for 911 call-takers and emergency responders at the service’s website, www.Smart911.com.

In the meantime, users can create a safety profile online by entering phone numbers and addresses, plus medical, disability or other information to aid emergency personnel.

Then, when a call comes in to a 911 center from a Smart911-registered phone, the additional data is displayed at the 911 call center. The information can also be accessed by medics, firefighters and police officers responding to emergencies.

“So many people are getting away from landlines and only using cellular phones, so it’s a way to tie your cellular phone to your home address and your business,” Conrad said.

King County is the first jurisdiction in Washington to implement Smart911. Officials announced the program Sept. 11.

“With this new tool, 911 call-takers can locate callers and send help to the right place more efficiently,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “It’s especially effective for users of cellphones, whose locations cannot be pinpointed as they can with landlines.”

Overall, about 70 percent of 911 calls originate from wireless phones, but wireless phones only provide the caller’s general location, not the exact address. Using Smart911, people can put home, school and work addresses into the safety profile associated with a wireless phone. The addresses can then assist 911 dispatchers in locating callers.

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Comments

2 Responses to “Issaquah joins ‘Smart911’ service to connect callers, responders”

  1. Doug on October 18th, 2012 1:16 pm

    If I’m driving down the street and witness an accident and report it to 911 how does having my home address help the dispatcher? Don’t dispatchers ask where you are when you call in? Looks to me like just another way for the government to harvest personal information under the pretext of it being “helpful”. Hogwash!

  2. Sarah on October 19th, 2012 10:02 am

    Obviously this is meant to help “you” when “you” are in need. And from the looks of it all they’re asking for is the info you’d tell 9-1-1 if you need help. I’ve had to call 9-1-1 before, and I was so panicked I couldnt even remember my address- I’m sure thats the case for many people. I can’t even imagine having my mom have to call and list out all of her medications, even if she is in the right frame of mind. I created a profile, just put in what was relevant for my family. I hope we never need it, but I feel much better knowing its there.

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