9-1-1 is a number that, I think it’s safe to say, all citizens across the US are familiar with. From senior citizens to small children, those three digits are what you dial if you have an emergency. Since the first 9-1-1 call was made in 1968, 9-1-1 functionality has been universal in that you dial these 3 digits from any phone and you are immediately connected to an emergency dispatcher who asks “9-1-1 what is your emergency” and then can assist you by sending Police, Fire or Ems to your location based on the nature of your emergency.
Simple right? Well a lot has changed since 1968. Landlines which automatically have home addresses linked to them are slowly disappearing, everything is mobile, and locating an incoming 9-1-1 call is becoming increasingly more difficult. Not only that, but emergency responders have more technology available to them, from smart phones to Wifi accessible laptops in their vehicles, these teams have the ability to be given much more information much faster in order to assist people. So how do they do that?
Well let’s look at who 9-1-1 assists.
The average citizen with minimal or no medical conditions or concerns probably doesn’t pay much attention to 9-1-1 during the course of their day. They do however, know that 9-1-1 will be there for them if they are in a car accident, have a house fire, their child goes missing or someone breaks into their home. Some people may never need to dial 9-1-1, but they know if they need to, they can.
What about those citizens who have a health condition, an allergy, mobility limitations or other concerns which make them very aware that they may have to dial 9-1-1 at any time of any day? These are citizens whose first priority is to ensure that they are prepared in any situation. This can mean that they take various measures from wearing a medical alert bracelet, to always having a list of medications and emergency contact names and numbers on them, to carrying an Epi Pen with them, to registering with their local emergency management agencies. How does emergency response for these individuals vary from the average citizens with no medical concerns?
The FCC conducted a survey on Emergency Calling for Persons with Disabilities to help understand the needs of these individuals and how 9-1-1 can adapt to better service them. This is a goal that Smart911 works towards every day. By creating a Safety Profile with Smart911, citizens can provide vital information to 9-1-1 call takers and first responders to ensure a faster and more effective response.
You can help 9-1-1, help you by signing up for a Smart911 Safety Profile at www.smart911.com and entering information you want 9-1-1 to have such as medical conditions, medications, physical limitations and anything else you believe is pertinent.
For additional resources, please review the below attachments.