Emergency preparedness solutions company Rave Mobile Safety has seen particular success with its Smart911 national safety service. The platform aims to assist 9-1-1 dispatchers in their decisions and cut response times. The service has seen statewide implementation in Arkansas, Delaware, and several other states.
Smart911 is a free, private service where citizens can create Safety Profiles, providing data in a national database about family members, medical conditions, disabilities, mobility limitations, exact addresses, and even pets that they want 9-1-1 to receive during an emergency. This information is verified via users' phone numbers, and is only available in the event of a 9-1-1 call. When a user does call, the additional data is automatically displayed,.
For Smart911 to work, Rave Mobile Safety installs software at the public safety answering point. In addition to providing citizen profile information, Smart911 also enables dispatchers to send text messages to people who have placed emergency calls, even if those people do not have Safety Profiles. Text messages can prove useful in multiple situations, including if a person is deaf or hard of hearing and in cases of domestic violence. Furthermore, the texting ability cuts down on the problem of "pocket dials," or unintentional calls.
"There are many benefits to Smart911, one of which is managing the ever-increasing problem of 'butt' dial callers. People tend to joke about them, but our call center and others receive many every single week, which has become a huge burden and resource waste for us," Timothy Smith, executive director of Ottawa Country Central Dispatch Authority, said in a statement.
When the call center receives accidental pocket dials, call takers must verify that there is no emergency. "We've learned that when we call the mobile phone back, people won't answer it from the unrecognized number, but they will respond to a text message and verify the accidental nature of their call to 9-1-1. By quickly being able to determine there is no emergency, we save time, stress, and taxpayer money," Smith stated.
With the FCC reporting that more than 70 percent of 9-1-1 calls come from mobile devices, the need for improvement in the area is apparent. The current system is not designed to locate mobile devices and struggles with information, such as floor plans and security codes. Smart911 improves response time by providing emergency responders with this kind of crucial information.
"The concept of citizens providing information is pretty valuable," Todd Piett, chief product officer at Rave Mobile Safety, says. "We think of [Smart911] as personalized 9-1-1: the information that you opt to provide is going to drive and help them respond to your emergency."