County launches Smart911 service

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

In an emergency, seconds count. Making sure 9-1-1 call-takers and emergency responders have all the information they need can mean the difference between life and death. To assist in this critical task, King County is launching “Smart911,” a supplemental data service that allows residents to create a personal safety profile in a secure database. That information can then be used to assist 9-1-1 call-takers and responders in the field.

Smart911 is free to every resident of King County, and registration is voluntary. To create a safety profile, users go to a secure website, Then, they enter their phone numbers, as well as address, medical, disability, or other information that could be useful to emergency personnel.

When a call comes in to a 9-1-1 center from a Smart911-registered phone, the additional data is displayed at the 9-1-1 call center. The information can also be accessed by medics, firefighters and police officers responding to the emergency.

Today, about 70 percent of 9-1-1 calls are made from wireless phones. However, wireless phones only provide the general location of a caller, not their exact address. With Smart911, people can put their home, school and work addresses into the safety profile associated with their wireless phone.

Smart911 is particularly useful for people with disabilities. For example, if someone who is deaf or hard of hearing is registered, the 9-1-1 call-taker will be able to see that information when a call comes in. All 9-1-1 centers across the county will be operational by the end of the year. In addition, Smart911 is a national database, with many other communities across the United States already participating. If a King County resident has registered their wireless phone with Smart911 and has to call 9-1-1 in another Smart911 participating jurisdiction, their information will still be displayed.

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