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Smart911 can help save lives

Beginning today, Webster County residents have a new way to pass on detailed information that can help firefighters or medical crews better respond to emergencies.

Smart911 is an online service that lets residents upload information about themselves. That includes medical details, allergies and locations that medical crews and firefighters might need to know.

The profile individuals create for themselves is connected to a specific phone number. When a call comes in to the communications center in Webster County from that number the profile information will pop up on a computer screen automatically.

“For example, if someone’s got cardiac history, you could put that information in there, or what medicine you take,” said Scott Forbes, Webster County Emergency Management coordinator. “You can also include photos of your home, drawings, diagrams for fire departments. You could pinpoint where kids’ rooms are in the house.”

Individuals can also list pets, cars, license numbers and other people to call in their Smart911 profile.

Cell phones, which are the communication devices of choice thus far in the 21st century, don’t help those first responders the way people might assume. They provide very little information.

Landlines, the historic form of communication many people are now abandoning, can at least pinpoint a caller’s address, which can help first responders find them.

Smart911 profiles add another layer to all that has been offered in the past

In short, it can help emergency responders save lives.

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