No one plans to call 9-1-1, but now you can plan ahead …
Layton City is the first community in Utah to enhance emergency response to its citizens with “Smart911” and is encouraging all households to register for the program.
Smart911 is a service that allows residents to create a free “Safety Profile” for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and first responders to have in the event of an emergency. Then, when anyone in that household dials 9-1-1 from a phone associated with their Safety Profile, their profile is immediately displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker providing additional information that can be used to facilitate the proper response to the proper location.
At a time when seconds count, Smart911 provides details that could impact response the second an emergency call is placed, which could be the difference between life and death.
“We think this is a tremendous service,” Layton Police Chief Terry M. Keefe said. “A lot of us are mobile and we hope this service will catch on state-wide.”
Layton sought out this program to benefit the community. Currently some 400 agencies in 35 states also use Smart911.
The program will cost Layton City $16,000 a year and it is and will be paid for out of existing funds. No new taxes or fees will be required because of it.
Layton Police Lt. Shawn Horton stressed that residents can enter as little, or as much information as they like when they register for the service.
“We don’t have access to this (Smart911) information unless you call 9-1-1,” Lt. Horton said, explaining there is then a 45-minute window open to access the information and then it closes.
“It’s for safety,” Lt. Horton said of Smart911. “It’s to save lives and make us more efficient.”
Layton Fire Chief Kevin Ward said Smart911 will also benefit the fire department.
For example, he said households can upload a picture of their home in the program and if the fire department has to respond to an emergency at night, that photograph can be very helpful.
“It will help us make tactical decisions,” Chief Ward said.
This program also benefits many key groups in the community including families with children; elderly and seniors; victims of domestic violence; those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or blind; families with autistic members; those with physical or developmental disabilities; people with allergies or other medical conditions; and pet owners.
Households can list every single phone in Smart911 and tie it to a person and their individual criteria. Several special notes sections also allow a listing of particular situations.
The dispatcher can quickly facilitate the proper response to the proper location, even if the caller is unable to speak. Smart911 saves seconds, and seconds can save lives.
Various language selections are also available in the new program.
This new service is particularly important because 85 percent of all calls to Layton’s 9-1-1 dispatch center are now from cell phones. (That’s above the national average of 70 percent.) And, cell phones do not list a person’s home address, as most land lines do.
-In addition to Smart911, Karl Kuehn, Communications Manager for the Layton Police Department, said Layton’s 9-1-1 Call Center underwent extensive remodeling last summer.
Besides all new furniture and other improvements, two new consoles were added, bringing the center’s total to six.
This gives the call center more space for training, as well as the ability to bring in more dispatchers, if there is a disaster, such as the Dec. 1, 2011 high wind event.
-To register on Smart911, go to: www.smart911.com and follow the prompts to create your own safety profile.