OTTAWA COUNTY. Mich. (Mar., 3, 2014) — In an emergency, every second counts. A new program being rolled out in Ottawa County and the city of Holland aims to reduce response times and improve the communication between 911 dispatchers and callers.
Smart911 gives dispatchers access a national secure database of additional information to help the caller in need. Once a user logs on to www.smart911.comto register their cell phone or land line number, they can also include vital information, such as the number of people and pets in their household, where bedrooms are located, directions to their home, and medical histories.
“You can put your doctor’s information, you can put in emergency contact information, any medications that you’re taking. If there are bed-bound people we need to know that,” explained Tim Smith, Ottawa County Central Dispatch executive director. “The more information we know about what’s going on at that residence, we can respond that much more prepared … In our business, for dispatchers and first responders, seconds mean lives.”
All information is kept private and only accessed in the event of an emergency. The service is free.
Smart911 is currently being used in more than 30 states and four other Michigan counties, including Ionia and Van Buren counties.