CARLISLE — Residents of the Carlisle community are being encouraged to attend a June 7 meeting at the Carlisle Town Hall on “Smart911.”
The Town of Carlisle announced this week that it will hold a community meeting at the town hall on Wednesday, June 7 at 5 p.m. to provide residents of the community with information about the Smart911 system and how they can use it to ensure they get the help they need from first responders — law enforcement, fire departments, EMS, and other emergency response agencies — as quickly as possible in an emergency situation.
A flier issued by the town about the meeting states that the Union County Sheriff’s Office’s 911 Communications Division can now provide Smart911 to the people of Carlisle and the rest of Union County.
The flier describes Smart911 as “a free service that allows individuals to create a Safety Profile for their household that can include any information they may want 9-1-1 call takers and first responders to have in the event of an emergency, then if they need to dial 9-1-1 their Safety Profile will immediately display on the call taker’s screen saving critical seconds and even minutes in response to the emergency.”
It states that “Smart911 saves critical time in an emergency and has proven to save lives nationwide.” The additional information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile enables emergency responders such as, for example, EMS to know exactly where they are going and what medical assistance is necessary, details that can help them respond faster and more efficiently.
The flier states “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.”
Mayor Mary Ferguson-Glenn said she can’t stress enough how important it is for the residents of the community to attend this meeting and get this information that can literally save lives.
Refreshments will be served.
Smart911 in Union County was announced in 2016 by Sheriff David Taylor during a presentation to representatives of local churches, businesses, schools, and local governments at Tabernacle Baptist Church. In addition to Taylor, 911 Director Linda Mitchell, and representatives of Rave Mobile Systems also participated in the presentation, discussing the Smart911 system and what it would mean to the homeowners, businesses, schools, and churches of Union County.
Taylor began by reviewing some of the history of the 911 system, pointing out that when the system was first implemented in the county, most phone calls were made using land lines. He said that today, however, most are made using cell phones and this has created problems that were not foreseen when the system was first set up. Taylor pointed out that when a person calls 911, the system gives the dispatcher the location of the cell tower nearest to the caller at the time of the call. He said that based on FCC requirements, the location of 67 percent of all calls to 911 must be within 164 feet of where the person is calling from while 95 percent must be within 492 feet. If that call is made in an urban area like the City of Union, Taylor said emergency responders could conceivably be sent to the wrong house.
In addition, Taylor pointed out there are a lot of things that can interfere with a cell phone call such as the terrain in the area the person is calling from. He said that if serious enough, the interference and can and does make it hard for 911 dispatchers to hear the caller, find out what their emergency is and determine what agencies to dispatch to the scene.
Taylor said that Smart911 addresses those problems, making it easier for callers to contact 911 dispatchers and convey the nature of their emergency and making it easier for dispatchers to understand them and send the appropriate assistance. He pointed out that Smart911 reduces the time it takes emergency responders to be dispatched to the scene of an emergency by an average of 11 minutes, a reduction that can make all the difference in the world.
While the reduction in the amount of response time is of lifesaving importance, Taylor said other features of the system make it even more attractive, both to the public and to emergency responders, as well as equally life-saving.
Taylor said that Smart 911 provides each resident with a “Safety Profile” that contains information provided by the resident that dispatchers can use in dispatching emergency assistance. He said that when a person calls 911 their Safety Profile appears on the dispatcher’s computer screen. Taylor said the Safety Profile can contain as much information as the resident chooses to ranging from their name, phone number and address to the number of people in the residence, whether or not they have animals in the house, and medical information including any allergies the residents of the home may have and/or any medication they may be taking. He said while the amount of information they provide is up to them, the more information the resident provides the better prepared emergency personnel will to be respond to a situation when they arrive.
Taylor said that the information for the Safety Profiles will be placed in a secure server that cannot be accessed unless a 911 call is made. He said the information needed for the Safety Profile does not include personal information like Social Security numbers, birth dates, and driver’s license numbers.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.