Transforming Network Infrastructure Industry News

TMCNet:  Woman sings praises of Smart911

[January 07, 2013]

Woman sings praises of Smart911

Jan 07, 2013 (Messenger-Inquirer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- When Owensboro resident Cindy Curtis heard about the Smart911 service provided by Owensboro-Daviess County combined dispatch, she thought registering with the service would be a good idea.

When the time came that Curtis called 911, dispatchers knew where she was and how to find her home without her doing much more than dialing the phone.

"All I would have to do is get 911 on the line and they would be able to take it from there" with the information Curtis provided Smart911, Curtis said.

The Smart911 system is free and relies on residents to voluntarily provide information about a number of things, such as the number of people in their family, if anyone in the family has a specific medical condition and the physical description of their home. In an emergency, a dispatcher will be able to provide that information to officers, firefighters or EMTs, which will better prepare them to meet the needs of the situation.

Curtis, a dog trainer, said after she registered for the service, she was awoken at 3 a.m. one day by the sound of dogs barking in the yard of an adjacent house.

"Those dogs were being very aggressive," Curtis said. "There was a horrible commotion and the (home) next to me doesn't own any dogs." Curtis looked out her doors with a flashlight but couldn't see what was happening. "I decided the best bet was to call 911." Curtis called 911 on a cell phone. Unlike a land line, a cell phone doesn't provide much information to dispatchers, other than the location of the tower through which the call was routed and an approximate location of the phone -- within a radius of 150 meters.

Most 911 calls made in Daviess County come from cell phones. Paul Nave, director of combined 911 dispatch, said 81 percent of all 911 calls in the county come from cell phones; nationally, 70 percent of 911 calls come from cell phones.

"Just 10 or 11 years ago, it was the total opposite -- 80 percent (of 911 calls) were from land lines and 20 percent were from cell phones," Nave said.

Because Curtis had registered with Smart911, dispatchers immediately knew her address. "As soon as I called and said who I was (the dispatcher) knew exactly where I was. I was so impressed, she already knew, without my having to say, 'here's my address,'" Curtis said.

Police arrived only a couple of minutes later. Next door, officers found two boxer dogs trying to claw and tear their way into a cage where a neighbor had placed two kittens, Curtis said. Officers found the owner of the dogs and the incident was resolved.

"It wasn't a life and death situation, but if it had been they would have all the information," Curtis said.

Curtis said she has provided information to Smart911 about the number of dogs in her house, other contact people to call if Curtis can't be reached and even some medical information.

"They have my veterinarian's information in there," Curtis said.

Registering with Smart911 was easy. "I found it very easy to navigate and I'm not tech savvy at all," Curtis said.

"I have a number of single friends and I've encourage all of them to sign up." Nave said the information provided to Smart911 is confidential and cannot be accessed by dispatchers until a person calls 911. About 2,000 people have provided information to the Smart911 service, Nave said.

"If someone calls and they can't talk due to a medical condition, this will immediately give us the information to save their life," Nave said. During a crisis situation, a person may have trouble providing information such as an address; with Smart911, the dispatcher will have that information immediately.

"If (a caller) is hysterical or distraught because of the circumstance, this is going to help them," Nave said.

To register, visit James Mayse, 691-7303, ___ (c)2013 the Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Ky.) Visit the Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Ky.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To Transforming Network Infrastructure's Homepage ]

Featured Blog Entries

Reflections from an Interop Veteran and Alum

When I returned to the Fiber Mountain™ offices in Connecticut after exhibiting at Interop Las Vegas 2015, I couldn’t help but think about how much the event has evolved through the years. I have been attending this seminal IT and networking conference since its inception in 1986 when it was called the TCP/IP Vendor Workshop, focused on interoperability of various TCP/IP program stacks.

What Fiber Mountain's Interop Recognition Means for Our Industry

When Fiber Mountain™ began its journey with a launch at Interop New York last fall, we certainly believed that we had a solution that would make a significant impact in the data center space.

What On-Board Optics Means for Density and Flexibility

This past week I read an article in Lightwave Magazine and another in Network World about the formation of the Consortium for On-board Optics (COBO), a group that seeks to create specifications and increase the faceplate density of data center switches and adapters.

Scaling Hyperscale in an Age of Exponential Growth and Virtualization

Over the past several years server, network, storage and application virtualization has revolutionized the way hyperscale data centers are built by consolidating workloads. The trend has simplified network architecture significantly and resulted in huge cost savings as well.

Video Showcase