Smart911, a free service that allows individuals and families to sign up online to provide key information to 9-1-1 call takers during an emergency, is now available in Prince William County.
“By signing up for Smart911, citizens can provide important and relevant information that can assist first responders in an emergency,” said Eddie Reyes, director of Prince William County Public Safety Communications.
The additional information, which is completely controlled by the citizen, can include who may be in the residence, where they may be located and any medical conditions that they may have, Reyes added.
Smart911 allows individuals to create a Safety Profile for their household at www.smart911.com or on the Smart911 App that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and response teams to have ahead of an emergency. When a citizen who completes their Safety Profile ahead of time makes an emergency call, that information is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing the dispatcher to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information.
Michele Surdam, assistant director of systems in the county public safety communications center, noted that the Smart911 profile follows the user wherever they are.
“If you are in another town or county that also supports Smart911, and you should happen to call 9-1-1 for an emergency, any information you have provided in your Safety Profile in Prince William County is displayed there,” she added.
With Smart911, individuals can link both home and work addresses to mobile phones, which are passed on to responders in the field for a more detailed, rapid response. Additional information, including pets in the home, vehicle details in the event of a crash, and even emergency contacts, can all be included in a Safety Profile. All information is optional, and the citizen has the ability to choose what details they would like to include.
Fire and Rescue System Chief Tim Keen noted that someone with sensitive or complicated medical conditions could voluntarily pre-populate information they would want first responders to know.
Acting Police Chief Jarad Phelps said the system also could help officials when they respond to calls for service involving individuals with autism or intellectual disabilities.
Smart911 is available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country. Officials emphasized that Smart911 is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses and only made available to the 9-1-1 system in the event of an emergency call.