New Tool For 911 Dispatchers

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

"I got it set up for my family. It's got the listing of all our pets, the description of our house and vehicles," said Bob Robison, Dispatch Supervisor.

EATON COUNTY (WILX)-- Imagine 911 Dispatch knowing your emergency information the second you make that call. By creating a profile on Smart 911, maybe it's a heart condition, or the fact your child is allergic to peanuts, dispatch could have the information at their fingertips.

Eaton County 911 has started using the Smart 911 program, and it expects to save more lives because of it.

(To create your own "Smart 911" profile, click on the link at the bottom of the story)

For example, a child with autism has wandered away, and every moment they're gone is a moment they could be in danger.

"Up to forty percent (of people on the autism spectrum) do not speak. This is important information for emergency responders to know," said Scott Schuelke, Autism Safety Specialist.

A profile on "Smart 911" can list medical needs, allergies, emergency contacts; whatever you'd like dispatch to know.

"The minimum information in a profile is your name and home address," said April Heinze, Director of Eaton County 911.

"I got it set up for my family. It's got the listing of all our pets, the description of our house and vehicles," said Bob Robison, Dispatch Supervisor.

Anyone can make a profile, but only dispatch centers with the "Smart 911" program like Eaton County, will be able to get the information. Right now there are more than 400 municipalities in the nation that have it.

"It's really quite groundbreaking when you think about it. To have this database that goes with you where ever you go," said Heinze.

It gives dispatchers a lot more tools to send help, especially if you're calling from a cell phone.

Another feature "Smart 911" provides, is that dispatchers can initiate a text conversation with the person that has called in.

"We've had cases where we attempted to call them back and they don't answer. We've sent them a text and they do respond back," said Robison

Other counties in Michigan using "Smart 911" include Ionia, Van Buren, and Grand Traverse. Clinton county is talking about it now.


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