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County Initiates Smart911 with RapidSOS to Quickly Serve Callers

August 29, 2018

The Bucks County Commissioners and the Bucks County Emergency Communications Department have partnered with Smart911 to begin a new program that will allow for quicker assistance when a 9-1-1 call is placed. Individuals can now sign up for free online and give pertinent information on themselves and their family which will allow 9-1-1 operators to dispatch law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services quicker and with more relevant data.

Residents can now create an account at https://www.smart911.com/smart911/ref/login.action?pa=buckscounty with basic contact information. Once the account has been activated, the profile can be customized and residents can share as little or as much as they would like emergency response to have in the event of emergency. The information is only viewable by dispatchers and other emergency personnel when a 9-1-1 call is placed, otherwise it remains safe and secure in the safety profile.

“If your elderly father with Alzheimer’s and a history of wandering lives with you, adding his photo to Smart911 allows dispatchers to distribute that photo to emergency personnel as soon as you call 9-1-1,” said Audrey Kenny, Director of Bucks County Emergency Communications. “If your daughter has a severe peanut allergy, adding that medical information to Smart911 could give precious moments to the Emergency Medical personnel who won’t have to ask as many questions before beginning treatment.”

Another major benefit to Smart911 is their partnership with RapidSOS. Each year, roughly 180 million mobile calls are placed to 9-1-1, and over 10,000 lives are lost when those mobile customers cannot be located, according to the FCC. Adding a home address, work address, possibly a church or community center where free time is spent, allows the caller to simply use their cell phone to say “I am home” or even “I am three blocks from work coming from home” and the dispatcher who has the address information can relay it to emergency personnel. RapidSOS takes it one step further. This new system works with the Emergency Communications software to further narrow down the caller’s location on a mobile phone. RapidSOS uses a nationwide Location Information Server (LIS) to deliver more precise coordinates and faster service. In some situations, RapidSOS can get emergency personnel to callers up to five minutes faster, which could dramatically alter the outcomes of crises.

Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country, and has been credited with positively impacting emergency outcomes including a missing child in which the girls photo and physical description were immediately available to 9-1-1 and responders, as well as a heart attack victim where an address and medical notes allowed responders to be dispatched to his location quickly.

Bucks County residents are encouraged to create their Safety Profile with Smart911 today to have their information immediately available to 9-1-1 and first responders.