GREENFIELD, Ind-- The Hancock County 911 Emergency Operations center is looking to change the way it handles emergency situations.
Next month, the county will go live with a new Smart 911 system. Smart 911 is an online-based profile that residents fill out with personal information that can give first responders the upper hand.
“It’s always better to have more information about a caller then no information about a caller, that way if you can’t talk to us we have a better idea of where you may be,” Communications Director John Jokantas said.
When someone dials 911 from a cellphone, the Smart 911 profile appears in front of dispatchers. The profile can contain information such as addresses, access points to the caller’s home, medical conditions, disabilities, or any medications you may be on. It can even include pictures of family members or pets.
“There’s just a wide variety of information that can go into the system,” Jokantas said.
Smart 911 is completely free for residents to use. Jokantas says the program costs the county roughly $16,000 per year. So far six other counties, including Boone, Vigo, and Morgan counties are using it. The city of Muncie is also using the system.
Officials say the information provided by Smart 911 can help to save first responders precious time, while also giving them a better idea of where a victim is and what resources are needed during an emergency.
“If we get an incomplete 911 call, meaning there’s no voice on the other end, we don’t know what’s going on so generally it’s a police response. If we see that information pop up and we know there’s medical conditions that can arise we’re probably going to send a ems response as well,” Jokantas said.
Smart 911 is expected to launch in Hancock county the week before Memorial Day. For more information on the program, as well as instructions on how to sign up, click here.