A better way to make a 911 call comes to NJ
Residents in one part of South Jersey can now take advantage of a new, enhanced 911 system that could wind up saving their lives — or the lives of loved ones.
It’s called smart911.
“It’s a new public safety technology that allows individuals, families, businesses, even schools to prepare in advance for an emergency,” said Todd Miller, vice president of public safety at Rave Mobile Safety, the company that developed smart911.
He said “anyone can go online to smart911.com and create a safety profile, with as much information about you and your family as you want.”
When someone makes an emergency 911 call, his or her safety profile will automatically be displayed to the 911 operator, allowing the operator to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information.
Miller said a profile could include a specific home or work address, because this may not be immediately available when a caller dials 911 on a mobile phone, or “you might provide photos and physical descriptions of your children, in case they were to go missing.”
He said without smart911, police would need to go to a caller's home, ask for a photo of the individual that’s missing, then go back to headquarters to distribute it — which all takes a lot of valuable time.
“With smart911, as soon as you dial 911, even without saying a word, that photo ... is instantly automatically provided to the dispatcher and can be put in the hands of first-responders,” he said.
He added you can also provide information about medications, pets and businesses, and can provide floor plans and other information to aid first-responders in the event of an emergency.
Camden County Freeholder John Young said smart911 makes a lot of sense.
“It’s a way for us to make sure our first-responders are able to come and service you a lot better, because every second counts,” he said
Young also pointed out if you’ve created a smart911 profile and you’re anywhere in the country outside of Camden county “your information will pop up. It’s across the United States.”
He stressed smart911 is password-protected and that the information is encrypted, so it’s secure.
Miller pointed out smart911 is free for individuals, families and businesses, because a city, township or county will sign up and pay for it — and then everyone in that area is able to take advantage of it.
He said besides Camden County, “Morris County is also introducing smart911, as is the Mountain Valley Regional Dispatch, and that includes Summit, Mountainside and Millburn Townships, and we expect it to co
ntinue to spread across New Jersey in the coming months.”
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