Kent County looks to save time, lives with Smart911

911 dispatchers. (File)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County Dispatch Authority hopes to save precious time during an emergency by adopting Smart911.

The agency announced the move during a news conference Tuesday morning.

Residents who use the service create a private online profile for their household, which gives dispatchers key information during an emergency. When residents who have signed up with Smart911 make a 911 call, their safety profile is automatically displayed to dispatchers, helping them assess and respond to the situation more swiftly.

Smart911 is free to Kent County residents. Residents can add photos, medical history, pets, cellphones, vehicle descriptions and other information, which is kept in a confidential database and only accessible to 911 dispatchers.

With more people using cellphones instead of landlines, the head of the Kent County Dispatch Authority says the benefits of having that extra information beforehand are “immeasurable.”

“Mobile phones do not provide an address to the 911 call taker. In situations like a weather emergency, seconds matter, and the additional information in a safety profile allows help to arrive better prepared,” said Curtis Holt, chair of the dispatch authority.

Last year, safety profiles from Smart911 assisted 911 dispatchers in 25 million calls.

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Online:

Smart911