Longmont Public Safety now supports the Smart911 system.
Smart911 is a national service that maintains a database of important details for emergency dispatchers, so they can access critical information during emergency response. The program was implemented across Boulder County earlier this year and Longmont Public Safety hopes to increase the number of users in the future.
Smart911 safety profiles can help increase response time for emergency responders, conveying important information when a caller may be panicked, unable to communicate or in a situation where communication is unsafe. Longmont Public Safety emergency communications manager Kristine Mason emphasized the value of Smart911 to help both callers and emergency responders during medical events.
“If someone has a history of cardiac events, medications or anything to that effect, that information can be added to a profile to give responders a better ability to prepare for a call in the moment,” Mason said.
Mason said users can also add photos of children or elderly adults that may not communicate well verbally, providing details on the best way to assist those family members. Photos can be added at any time, making it easier for parents to update a child’s outfit should they get lost in a public space.
“In the event the child goes missing, parents don’t have to worry about giving field responders accurate details about an outfit during a high stress incident,” Mason said.
Smart911 works in conjunction with emergency response company RapidSOS to provide accurate GPS data to the caller's location, should the caller be in an unfamiliar setting or unable to give an accurate location, according to Mason.
The system is secure and information is only available to dispatchers during a 9-1-1 call. Users can add in their medical information, address, household residents and emergency contacts, as well as descriptions of vehicles, pets, service animals and important home information like hidden driveways or gate codes.
Personal data is stored safely using the highest standards in physical and digital security technologies, according to Longmont Public Safety. More importantly, personal data will never be sold or shared with third parties or marketing agencies.
“The data is only available to dispatchers when a 9-1-1 call is made. We don’t datamine, it isn’t even possible,” Mason said. “The repository is deleted from our system after ten minutes and then our system no longer has access to the information. Once we disconnect that call, we don’t look at it again.”
Sign up is simple and requires two-factor identification to confirm phones and devices for the safety profile to work properly. According to Longmont Public Safety, sharing preferences and safety profile content can be updated at any time by users. Accounts remain active for six months without any activity before they are suspended but can be reactivated simply by logging in.
Smart911 profiles also travel with the user, enabling Smart911 profile data to be used by any emergency response dispatch that has partnered with the program across the nation.
“If you upload your data here in Colorado, and then have to dial 9-1-1 while on vacation in Florida, your information will pop up and the local responders will be able to assist with greater efficiency,” Mason said.
The program can also help during emergencies while hiking or traveling in an unfamiliar location
“If another 9-1-1 center has this application, they’ll be able to locate you in an emergency if you can’t locate a road sign or mile marker,” Mason said.
The service is free to all Longmont and Boulder County residents and has been implemented in the city of Longmont, city of Boulder, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and University of Colorado Police emergency communication centers.
“There’s no reason everyone shouldn’t sign up for Smart911,” Mason said. “The program is safe and secure, and it can only be beneficial for the community as a whole.”
To sign up click here.