Disaster Awareness: Tools – Smart 911

This posting on Smart911 is being re- posted as part of our Disaster Awareness series.  At the Disaster Awareness Day, participants were reminded of Smart911 and how important it is to save the precious time of first responders by providing basic medical history and other information beforehand, which will help them, help you, faster!

Smart911 is a private service being used by a large and growing number of public safety agencies and first responders across the country, including South Carolina.

Smart911 assists emergency responders by having individuals submit important personal safety information to a database through the Smart911 web site, specifying a mobile phone number that uniquely identifies their account. Public safety agencies enable responders to access the data when a 911 emergency call is received from that phone number.

The advantage in using the service comes in time savings and enhanced location information. Emergency calls from cell phones cannot be accurately tracked if the caller is in distress and does not provide an address.

Before any emergency medical treatment can occur on site, first responders must go through an assessment of information that could be available to them before their arrival through Smart911. Similarly, in the event of a fire, responders could already know the type of roof, main access points to the house, and where utilities can be located and shut off.

Personal safety information can include severe allergies, the names of medications one is taking, important medical conditions and disabilities, the location of propane tanks and electrical shutoffs on the house, and other time-saving information that can make a critical difference in aiding first responder action. Individuals may submit as much information as they wish and can deactivate their accounts at any time.

Personal Smart911 accounts remain active as long as individuals access them once every six months. If this time period lapses without a visit, the information is considered out-of-date and will not be transmitted to responders in the event of a 911 call.

Readers interested in learning more about the service and signing up are directed to the web site at smart911.com, especially the pages on “How It Works” and “Frequently Asked Questions.

-Submitted by Tidelines Editor

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