Smart911 Takes Off

The York County Board of Commissioners today announced that nearly 800 York County households were signed up for Smart911 through the end of October, with the resulting safety profiles assisting in up to 135 emergency responses.

The County’s 911 Center on Oct. 6 became only the second in Pennsylvania to use Smart911, which allows people to provide advance information to 911 dispatchers in case of an emergency. Under the program, individuals can create free, secure profiles at that contain information about medical conditions, medications, allergies, the number of children in a house, pets and more.

The information is tied to the individual’s phone number and becomes immediately available to dispatchers if the individual calls 911.

There were 124 households signed up for Smart911 at the beginning of October, a figure that jumped by 526 percent, to 777, by the end of the month, according to a report from Smart911. A profile was displayed to dispatchers 135 times during the month.

“This is a strong first step for the Smart911 program,” said Commissioner Doug Hoke. “We encourage everyone to take 10 minutes out of their day to create a profile. It could save your life, or the lives of your family members and pets.”

By filling out a profile, people can alert emergency responders in advance of a variety of different critical information, including:

  • The layout of the family home, which could help responders search for loved ones in case of a fire or other emergency
  • Mobility problems that could hinder a family member’s ability to escape in case of fire
  • Emergency contacts responders can call in case of an emergency
  • Specific allergies or medical conditions within a household.
  • The medications an individual is taking
  • A family member’s physical/mental or developmental disability.

Commissioner Chris Reilly said creating a profile is an easy way to help dispatchers and emergency responders get correct information quickly in an emergency.

He likened filling out a Smart911 profile to wearing a seat belt.

“We wear a seat belt because we know it could save our lives if something unexpected happens,” Reilly said. “A Smart911 profile is like a digital seat belt that travels with you and your family. It’s impossible to predict when you might need it, but you’ll be grateful to have it if an emergency arises.”

President Commissioner Steve Chronister said the County has been actively marketing the program since launch through community partners, social media, the County website and targeted direct mail.

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