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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • County residents to benefit from Smart 911

  • Michael Burchett, Phillips County 911 coordinator, flood plain manager and fire service coordinator recently announced information detailing the latest emergency management programs available in the county, including Smart 911.
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  • Michael Burchett, Phillips County 911 coordinator, flood plain manager and fire service coordinator recently announced information detailing the latest emergency management programs available in the county, including Smart 911. “We have received grants for warning systems in Phillips County and we currently have about 10 stationed,” reported Burchett. Burchett explained that currently Department of Emergency Services is working out some technical glitches in the updated radio systems for police and firefighters. “We have spent close to $500,000 on equipment, updates, and maintenance on these items of necessity,” he reported. Burchett introduced the newest program, Smart 911, which will improve police and emergency response by providing added information that you might want available to a dispatcher, police, or other first response emergency responders if you call 911. “By providing rescue information with Smart 911 in advance, you ensure that the information is accurate and appropriate. If an emergency does occur, dispatchers are already a step ahead,” Burchett commented. According to Burchett, Smart 911 is a free opt-in system through which community members can register their cell phones and create personalized profiles with important personal information. Any data submitted are encrypted to protect user privacy. Burchett reported that Smart911 underwent extensive testing to ensure reliability and privacy. The program protects your information and only provides it to the people who need it and only when they need it. Your profile is only visible when you call 911. “You can register your cell phone for free with the Smart 911 system, and you choose what information to provide. You can upload photos, physical descriptions, details about your place of residence and work, even medical or critical care information,” said Burchett. Burchett added that Smart911 gives you the flexibility and personalization you want, allowing you to share any or all of this information. Smart 911 has been deployed to improve the effectiveness of 911 personnel where despite the hard work and effort of our dispatchers, the news headlines are filled with occasions where a system or person failed during a 911 call with tragic results. Burchett explained that this system will be more efficient in cases of missing children, confused or disabled callers, deaf or hearing impaired callers, as well as those cases who have a history of domestic violence. “With Smart 911, the 911 operator can see a high quality photo of the missing child, issue an Amber Alert, view the medical profile of a confused or disabled caller or help those who may have trouble communicating with a 911 dispatcher over the phone,” commented Burchett. According to Burchett, it's entirely up to each citizen how much information they want to share about themselves and their families. They can upload everything from photos to physical descriptions. They can describe the layout of their house, the make of their car and the composition of their families - even pets. “Every family is different and may choose to utilize the service differently. Smart 911 understands this and gives citizens the flexibility and personalization they want, allowing them to share any or all of these pieces of information,” stated Burchett. Burchett explained that Smart 911 is secure and reliable and that the citizen's profile information is private and secure. Smart 911 is designed with the redundancy and reliability necessary for emergency operations. The hosted components of the service reside in redundant, secure, and geographically dispersed data centers across the United States. Data security is also of critical importance. Smart 911 utilizes the latest in data security measures to protect resident information. “Additionally, when Smart911 is implemented, the connection methods between your public safety answering (access) point and the Smart 911 database are secured as well,” Burchett concluded.

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