By Samantha Husted
Every second counts in an emergency. In the time that it takes for the dispatcher to receive a 911 call and alert first responders a lot can happen. These are the crucial moments that could change a person’s life. But what if there was a way to expedite the process? First responders arrive as fast as they can but they don’t always know what kind of scene they are about to enter into. They don’t know if the person they’re caring for is allergic to certain medications or if they have a medical condition such as epilepsy. This information could be what stands between life and death in an emergency situation.
But with changing technologies comes evolving emergency response methods. Today there is a new system in place that can not only provide fire fighters, EMTs and police officers with life-saving information, it can also give people and their family members a sense of security and comfort. The system is called Smart911 and it’s changing the way emergencies are handled nationwide.
Smart911 is a free and secure service that allows people to pre-store crucial information. This information will be accessible to first responders, providing them access to personal details that could save a life in the event of an emergency. Smart911 can include vital health information such as allergies, medical conditions and medications. It can also include property details, which can allow fire rescue crews to know exactly where the electrical shut off is in the case of a fire. More importantly for Marco Island residents or part-time residents, many of whom live in condominiums, the service can even provide access instructions so that responders know where to go and how to get there.
“Smart911 offers members of our community a way to create a safety profile that provides emergency dispatchers with vital personal and medical information in the event of an emergency,” said Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk. “The profile is secure and private and can give first responders critical, life-saving information at a time when seconds count.”
According to Smart911’s website, over 70% of 911 calls now come from mobile phones. Cell phones, though handy, aren’t the most useful in terms of gathering important information. The most a dispatcher can obtain through a 911 call dialed from a cell phone is the phone number and the person’s general location. The scene is stressful, the person who’s calling is in a panic, and the dispatcher needs to send emergency personnel ASAP. Smart911 steps in and is sort of like the calm, levelheaded person in the room. The system alerts the dispatcher and first responders to any pertinent information allowing them to do their job efficiently, but more importantly fast.
Smart911 is private, secure and free. To sign up for Smart911, visit www.smart911.com. It could save your life.