A man trapped in a house fire calls 9-1-1 but can't communicate. A young child dials 9-1-1 but can't answer the dispatcher's questions. A woman suffering from a medical condition calls 9-1-1 but falls unconscious. A frantic mother calls 9-1-1 to report her daughter missing. These are all instances when 9-1-1 dispatchers need additional information in order to send help to a person in need, and the time taken to find this information can be the difference between life and death.
Officials with Honolulu Police Department announced that they have taken a step forward to enhance their emergency response services for all residents and visitors. Honolulu is the first location in Hawaii to implement Smart911, a free national public safety service that allows citizens to provide the information dispatchers need, before an emergency happens. Smart911 enables citizens to create a free Safety Profile online that can include any information about their household that they want 9-1-1 to have in an emergency.
"When someone calls 9-1-1 their safety profile automatically pops up on the dispatcher's display screen," said Louis Kealoha, chief of police, Honolulu Police Department. "This information can be quickly passed along to the emergency personnel responding to the scene. The additional information can shorten response times, increase officer safety, and ultimately save lives."
Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile at www.smart911.com for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and response teams to have in the event of an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information. Responders can be aware of many details they would not have known previously, and now fire crews can arrive at a house fire knowing how many people live in the home and the location of bedrooms, EMS can be advised of allergies or specific medical conditions and police can have the photo of a missing child in seconds rather than minutes or hours.
"A large percentage of our 9-1-1 calls provide little or no information for our dispatchers to act on," said Allan Nagata, acting major, Honolulu Police Department. "Whether the call was a misdial, the caller cannot communicate or the signal is lost, Smart911 immediately provides 9-1-1 call takers with details to better respond to many situations. We can now know the home address of a mobile phone caller, and our personnel can approach the scene of an emergency knowing more about a household, including pets that may be in the home, which provides greater safety for our officers."
Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities. It has been credited with positively impacting emergency situations and saving lives across the U.S., including a missing child case in Arkansas, a heart attack victim in Tennessee and a man trapped in a house fire in Michigan. As a national service, anytime a person with a Smart911 Safety Profile dials 9-1-1 in any location in the U.S. that supports Smart911, their profile will automatically appear to dispatchers allowing for more information to be available at the time of an emergency.
Residents are encouraged to create their Safety Profile with Smart911 today to have their information immediately available to 9-1-1. Smart911 data is private and secure, and is only used for emergency responses and available in the event of an emergency call.