Smart911 offers extra help in responding to Worthington emergencies

GARY SEMAN JR.
gseman@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

Worthington residents can gain an additional sense of security through Smart911, available now that the city fully has transferred its emergency-call services to the Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Center in Dublin.

Smart911 allows people to provide specific details that 911 dispatchers might need in order to assist in an emergency, said Anne Brown, spokesperson for the city.

"When you make an emergency call from a phone registered with your safety profile, the 911 system recognizes your phone number and automatically displays your profile on the screen of the call taker who receives your call," Brown said.

Information can include details about all members of the household, all phone numbers (mobile, land line or Voice over Internet Protocol), and all addresses, including home, work and vacation residences, she said.

Users also may add details about medical conditions, medications, vehicles, pets and emergency contacts, Brown said.

Photographs of people also may be added, which could assist in finding a missing person, she said.

Registration, which is necessary, is available at tinyurl.com/q4apebn.

The service was not available until the city transitioned the Worthington Division of Fire & EMS dispatching to the NRECC in July, followed by the Worthington Division of Police on Sept. 8.

"This can be especially helpful in situations where the resident may be unresponsive or otherwise unable to communicate," police Chief Robert Ware said of Smart911. "It provides an additional element of safety for the first responder as well as an increased level of comfort for the resident, especially during medical emergencies."

Brown said the city is asking residents to take advantage of the service.

"We are also encouraging family members and caretakers of older adults or people with disabilities who might need assistance to helped their loved ones set up the service," she said.

She said it is not hard to imagine a scenario where personal details could help dispatchers and first responders.

"Fire crews can arrive at the scene of a fire knowing how many people live in a residence and the location of bedrooms and EMS teams can have detailed information about a person's allergies or prescriptions they're taking," Brown said. "Police can have immediate access to a photo of a missing person in seconds rather than minutes or hours."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary