Making 911 Cell Phone Calls More Effective


Behind the Scenes:
How to Make 911 Cell Phone Calls More Effective

by Marjory Earle, President, Froula Alarm Systems

Cell phones are problematic, since the operator cannot determine where you’re located. That means you must tell them where you’re at and on which floor, if the building has more than one.

Another option is to sign up for a free account with Smart911. Smart911 is used in both Snohomish and King Counties. You create a Safety Profile with your address, information about the members of your household and the medical history for each person. You can also include multiple addresses, such as for home, work and school.

When you call 911 using a mobile phone tied to your Safety Profile, both the dispatcher and emergency responders can see the information on their screen. Since they don’t have to ask you for your location or try to figure out where you’re calling from, they can respond in seconds, rather than minutes, a big difference when it comes to saving lives.

If you or a family member have a disability, such as deafness or are hard of hearing, add that to your profile so responders know how to communicate with that person. For instance, instead of relying on a video relay service to communicate an emergency, a person with a hearing disability can use their mobile phone, and the dispatcher will see this information pop up on their screen and know how to work with the caller.

Another benefit of Smart911 is the fact that your profile is part of a national database. Even if you call from a location outside of your home or work, the profile will still be displayed, providing valuable medical information so responders can take the right steps to help you in an emergency.

WarningsNancy Wagner