SERESA offers Smart911 program to aid in emergencies

By: Kristyne E. Demske, Bria Brown | C&G Newspapers | Published December 6, 2016

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MACOMB COUNTY — Public safety officials announced that Smart911 is now available to residents for free to provide key information to 911 dispatchers and first responders during an emergency, according to a press release from South East Regional Emergency Services Authority Executive Director Cherie Bartram Nov. 29.

According to the Smart911 website, people can create profiles with key information about members of their household that would help in the event of an emergency, whether the call is from the home or any mobile phone.

The website also states that individuals can add medical conditions, allergies, disabilities and equipment, and medications to their profiles.

“Citizens that create a safety profile will be better prepared in all towns and counties across the country that support Smart911,” stated Eastpointe Public Safety Director John McNeilance in the release. “The safety profile travels with you, and the additional information provided allows us to send the right response teams faster.”

Eastpointe, Roseville and St. Clair Shores make up the region that SERESA covers.

Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said Smart911 profiles provide critical information to help first responders.

“It’s one more way for citizens to provide us with critical information in the event of an emergency, and we’re happy to provide this service to our community,” he said.

St. Clair Shores Deputy Police Chief Steve Lambert said that Smart911 gives the public more ways to communicate with public safety officials.

“Right now landlines, when you call 911, it automatically brings up an address with dispatch, so the Smart911 now enables that to happen with cellphones,” he said. “Instead of longitude and latitude, it will now bring up a name and an address.”

Seconds are saved by dispatchers not having to use coordinates to find the address of a person calling to forward to police, he said.
Lambert said they are working hard to keep all avenues of communication open in case of an emergency.

“It’s just public safety trying to keep up with the technology,” he added. “It’s constantly changing.”

The state of Michigan will cover the first 18 months of the program, according to Bartram. The SERESA authority board agreed to pay the $23,625 annual cost after the 18 months.

As for the security of the Smart911 profiles, the Smart911 website says, “Smart911 utilizes the highest standards in physical and computer security technologies and conducts regular audits to ensure all information held in Smart911 is kept secure, and only made available to 911 and emergency responders who are responding to or planning for emergencies.”

For more information or to create a Smart911 profile, visit www.smart911.com.

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