Cell Users Can Get Informed Emergency Response with Smart911

By Peyton Gigante

Call 911 from a landline and the operator knows where you are. Call from a cellphone and the operator won’t know right away who or where you are. Smart911 aims to fix that.

Smart911, now available in Butler County, is an app that allows you to build a profile the emergency operator can see. It can include as much or as little information as you’d like, such as addresses, medical information, vehicles and emergency contacts.

The app is a potential life-saving tool that the Oxford and Miami police departments are urging everyone to load onto their cell phones.

Smart911 is used by 45 million people nationwide, according to the app’s website.

“You can input just about whatever you want on there,” said Lt. Lara Fening of the Oxford Police Department. “The people living in your house, their phone numbers, phone numbers of your family, if you have pets, if you are on oxygen. It’s great if you want to protect your little world, especially if you live alone or have any kind of medical condition.”

Your Smart911 Safety Profile displays on the 9-1-1 operator’s screen, providing the call taker with your information, making it easier to reach you. The app also sends alerts about weather, traffic, and other emergencies.

“Let’s just say you have two different families,” said Fening. “One has significant medical issues worth noting and the other family doesn’t, but they have small children. If you got a single person with a severe heart condition, and it’s an open 911 line, you do consider the possibility of something being wrong a lot more.”

Last week, Miami posted a message on its MyMiami home page urging everyone at the university to make use of the service. The police note that more and more 911 calls are now made from cell phones and that every piece of information the responders have aids them in making a successful response.

“We respond regardless, but when you’re mentally preparing to go to that call, there are existing conditions that we might need to be prepared for,” Fening said.

Smart911 is on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, and is available for download on the App Store for free.