Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SNOPAC– Smart911Gives a New Capability

In conjunction with National Night Out, SNOPAC, one of two 911 agencies in Snohomish County, has announced a new service called Smart911.

Many times first responders will receive calls and not have much information available about emergencies until they arrive at the scene. Then they have to figure out what is wrong. At best the person calling 911 can give information about the situation to the 911 call taker. But, responders can also encounter only an unconscious person who cannot tell them what is wrong.
The idea of Smart911 is for citizens to voluntarily provide information that might be important to first responders in an emergency. This could include medications, medical conditions such as asthma, heart conditions, mental conditions, or Alzheimer’s/dementia. Information about access to your property, such as gate codes, can also be provided.

With Smart911, you set up an account with a “Safety Profile” that contains the emergency information that you would want to provide to SNOPAC during an emergency. When you call 911, the system recognizes your phone number then displays your emergency information automatically on the call taker’s screen. Smart911 points out that this can be especially helpful in situations when you are unable to communicate or the situation makes it unwise to communicate.
Through Smart911, SNOPAC has the capability to send and receive text messages. Currently, outside of Smart911 texting is not available during 911 calls. Texting is helpful for those who have hearing or speech problems. Also, through Smart911, you can give SNOPAC permission to ping your cell phone. This can be important if you cannot communicate, or if you are not sure exactly where you are. This capability is often limited to a few emergency circumstances that are governed by strict protocols.

The information that you provide is secure. It is maintained in a national database that is not shared except when you call 911.
Note: Smart911 is another private initiative that is intended to help local governments with their information/data needs. A few years ago the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, as well as other local police agencies, signed up for which provides crime data to the public. SNOPAC has a three year, $180,000 ($60,000 per year) contract with Smart911. SNOCOM, the other 911 agency in the county, currently does not have a contract with Smart911.

Smart911, Fox News video:

How Smart911 works:

The Herald:



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