Contact Information: Joan Olson (630) 407-6015 or Evan Shields (630) 407-6022
Monday, August 1, 2016
Start the School Year Safely with Smart911
As families check off items on their back-to-school lists, DuPage County and your public safety first responders urge them to remember one important safety step for the year ahead: Smart911.
Smart911 is a free public safety service that automatically displays essential information to 911 dispatchers when an emergency call is placed. It’s provided by the DuPage County Emergency Telephone System Board and is supported by existing 911 fees.
Users create an online safety profile that provides household information about family members, home, pets and vehicles. The profile can contain any information that may be needed in an emergency, including address, family members’ photos or physical descriptions, or medical information, such as medications or medical conditions. Users decide what they want to include, and the confidential information is available only to 911 dispatchers during an emergency call.
“Children may know how to dial 911, but they may not always be able to relay the information needed to get help fast,” said ETSB Chairman Gary Grasso. “Details such as an address or family medical information can be included in a Smart911 profile so that first responders have the information they need immediately.”
The details included in a profile can provide quick help in a variety of ways, including:
Calls from mobile phones: An estimated 73 percent of 911 calls come from mobile phones – but a cellular telephone’s exact location can’t always be determined by GPS from a cell tower. Smart911 displays the address of the mobile phone in the profile and can track the call via GPS, even if the call is disconnected.
Missing children: It can take up to an hour to acquire a current photo of a child and disseminate it. Smart911 profiles display the user-provided photo of the child, which can be immediately forwarded to officers in the field or news channels.
Trouble in transit: If a child carries a cell phone and needs help for a medical issue or an accident while walking to school, Smart911 provides contact information for parents or other emergency contacts. It can also list medical notes on the child including asthma, allergies or diabetes.
The service is available to anyone who lives in, works in or visits DuPage County, and more than 26,000 county residents have registered for Smart911 since it was introduced in 2011. Smart911 is a national service, and your profile will follow you anywhere Smart911 is available.
“Registration takes only a few minutes,” said Grasso, “but it can really make a difference for you—and for first responders—when you need help quickly.”
Help your 911 dispatchers help you in an emergency by providing vital information through Smart911.
Learn more about Smart911 or register for the free service on the DuPage County ETSB webpage at www.dupageco.org/smart911. Additional information can also be found at www.smart911.com.