WUFT News

Smart911 Technology Enhances Emergency Response in Alachua County

By and on November 4th, 2013

In times of emergency, stress is high and the time available to convey crucial information is limited.

But beginning Nov. 4, Alachua County 911 operators will know more about callers than ever before.

Smart911 is a free online service that provides staffers in 911 call centers with specific information to tailor emergency responses to individual needs.

Users can create an online safety profile that includes information on household members, pets, medical disabilities or allergies, and house information such as the location of hidden keys or alarm codes.

These facts equip responders with as much knowledge as possible prior to addressing the emergency. Profiles can be updated at anytime.

“There are at least two incidents where this will be invaluable,” said Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell.

The first is when someone calls 911 but is unable to speak, she said.

“The other situation is, think of when you are excited or scared, and you try to start providing critical, vital information – you can’t do it.”

The service is free to all Alachua County residents who take the time to register and set up a profile.

Although Smart911 allows access to extensive private information, Alachua County Fire Rescue Communications Bureau Chief Keith Godwin said the company has paid professionals to hack into the website to guarantee trustworthy security and to ensure profiles are only available under certain circumstances.

“Every bit of information is displayed to 911 operators,” Godwin said. “They have that available for 45 minutes or until you hang up the phone or we hang up the phone. It’s safe, secure, we cannot search it and it is only available when you present it to us.”

More than 30 states use Smart911 either statewide or in select counties. Safety profiles cannot be accessed by operators in counties without Smart911 technology, but any emergency call placed in a Smart911 county nationwide will include the caller’s profile.

Smart911 is already available in numerous counties in Florida, including Lafayette, Union, Gilchrist, Levy, and Dixie.

“This is the next evolution of 911 so that your safety information is provided to try to ensure your safety, ensure the best response and make it as quick as possible,” Darnell said. “Time is of the essence, it will definitely safe a life.”


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

David Brown, 50, sits on his bed in the newly opened Dorm 1 at Grace Marketplace. The shelter opened its first overnight housing option on Wednesday to help those living on the streets transition into more permanent housing.

Grace Marketplace Opens Dorm For Homeless

On Wednesday, emergency shelter Grace Marketplace opened its first dorm for the homeless. Residents must adhere to criteria, but the dorm offers a more permanent housing option.


New Digital Map Launched to Decrease Hunger In Florida

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is fighting to decrease hunger and sustain the health of Florida residents. The FDACS has created a new digital map to help locate and determine which areas of Florida have the least amount of access to food and resources.


Additional Parking, Lighting and Community Access Planned For Midtown Area

The Community Redevelopment Agency plans to break ground next year on NW First Avenue, the street a block north of University Avenue bordering the businesses in Midtown.


The Waldo City Council met Tuesday night to vote on disbanding the local police department. After hearing from residents and officers, the Waldo City Council disbanded the department due to lack of funding.

Waldo City Council Votes To Disband Local Police Department

The Waldo City Council voted 4-1 in favor of dissolving the local police
department on Tuesday night. The city noted negative publicity and outdated equipment as concerns, but ultimately, it was a lack of funding that led to the disbanding the police department.


Do Local Charities Deserve Your Money Or Trust?

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, some charities spend as much as 99 percent of funds raised to help fulfill their mission statement while others funnel the same portion into administration costs.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments