Kent County Announces 911 Enhancement to Help Save Lives

Smart911™ : Residents Can Now Sign Up for Free Service that Provides First Responders with Critical Information

Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 11, 2017 – The Kent County Dispatch Authority is investing in the community’s safety by adopting Smart911™.

Smart911 is a nationwide service that allows individuals to create an online safety profile for their household, which provides key information to 911 call takers during an emergency. This information enables faster and more effective emergency response by law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services. When citizens who have signed up with Smart911 make 911 calls, their safety profile is automatically displayed to 911, providing dispatchers with an enhanced level of information that can assist in assigning the correct public safety responders.

Available for the first time to Kent County residents, this free service enables them to create individual and household profiles at http://www.smart911.com. Residents can add photos, detailed medical information, pets, cell phones, vehicle descriptions and other information that can be critical during an emergency situation.

The Kent County Dispatch Authority, in partnership with public safety officials throughout Kent County, will hold a media conference on Tuesday, April 11 at 10 a.m. at the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, 701 Ball Ave NE, Grand Rapids.

“Smart911saves critical time in an emergency and has proven to save lives nationwide,” said Curtis Holt, chair of the Kent County Dispatch Authority. “The additional information provided in a Smart911 safety profile can save critical minutes in an emergency and help responders offer better services. Smart911 allows residents to link both home and work addresses to mobile phones, which can be passed on to responders in the field for a more detailed, rapid response. All information is optional, and each citizen has the ability to choose what they would like to include.”

Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country. The service has been credited with positively impacting emergency outcomes, including the recovery of a missing child, whose photo and physical description were immediately available to law enforcement units, as well as a heart attack victim, whose address and medical notes allowed responders to be dispatched to his location and provide timely medical assistance.

“The benefits of having detailed information on a 911 call from a cell phone are immeasurable,” Holt said. “Mobile phones do not provide an address to the 911 call taker. In situations like a weather emergency, seconds matter, and the additional information in a safety profile allows help to arrive better prepared.”

Kent County residents are encouraged to create their safety profile with Smart911 at http://www.smart911.com to ensure their information is available to 911. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete the secure online form that will be stored in the confidential Smart911 database. All information is kept private and protected and is only available to 911.

About Kent County Dispatch Authority

The Kent County Dispatch Authority was formed in 2007 to address issues that related to 911 services in the County. KCDA develops policies and procedures for administering 911, creates the annual operating and capital budget, establishes goals and objectives through a strategic plan for future technological or operational enhancements, distributes 911 surcharge funds and other initiatives to maximize efficiency of 911 services. For more information, visit http://www.kent911.org

About Smart911

Currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities, Smart911 allows citizens to create a free Safety Profile online for their household that includes information they want 911 and response teams to have during an emergency, such as their address, medical conditions, pets, etc. When an emergency call is made, a citizen’s Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 911 call-taker. Last year, 25 million 911 calls were assisted by Safety Profiles. All information is kept private and secure, only appearing when the associated number calls 911.

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