Smart911 system designed to improve emergency responses

Online profiles will help emergency responders know vital information in an emergency

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield’s mayor and fire commissioner, along with the dispatch director, announced the city’s new emergency response initiative on Tuesday.

The program, called Smart911, allows citizens to create a safety profile online for their household that includes any information they want 911 and first responders to know in case of an emergency.

Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri told 22News that the program will enable police, firefighters, and medical personnel to help residents faster and more effectively. “What this will do for people who have medical issues or want to give use their pet information, or if they have children with autism or any special needs; domestic violence victims, it’ll allow them to pre-enter the information to help us locate them in a much more rapid manner.”

It currently takes several steps to convey your personal and medical information to emergency first responders.

“Initially when you call 911 it goes through the Springfield Police Department… they will determine if its a medical emergency and they will tell you to stay on the line and then they will transfer you to our medical communications center,” said Kathleen Haniffy, AMR Training Coordinator.

More than 70% of 911 calls come from mobile phones. When you dial 911 from a mobile phone, the 911 call takers have very little information to help you; only your phone number and a very general sense of your location.

This can work against you, especially if you have medical conditions. However, Smart911 may change that. You can input key medical and personal information. This way, both 911 call takers and first responders know exactly what you want them to know in an emergency.

When citizens make 911 calls, their safety profile is automatically displayed to the call-taker. Residents can choose the information that they do and do not want to share on the website. To sign-up, visit Smart911.com.

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