Smart911 system goes live in Jonesboro area

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Jonesboro E-911 recently joined a statewide system that provides more detailed information to emergency responders.

Local dispatchers are encouraging more people to register for the new Smart911 system online.

Smart911 is a free service that allows people to create a profile detailing personal or medical information, which only shows up to 911 dispatchers if they ever call in an emergency.

"The information that you enter today," said Jeff Presley, E-911 director, "may save your life tomorrow."

Presley says the Jonesboro area is now part of the state's growing Smart911 network.

The network allows people to create safety profiles that appear the instant they call 911.

"We have been testing here for about a week in the Jonesboro area, Craighead County," Presley said. "It's going to be a really good tool for public safety."

With the new system in place locally, people can follow several steps to register for the service.

People can log onto a secure Web site here and set up their own free safety profile. The profile can include as much personal and medical information as they would like to share.

"The information is not a searchable database," Presley added. "It can only be seen when you initiate a 911 call for service."

Presley says the new system allows more than just his dispatchers to speed up their response to emergencies.

"The more information we have, the better it is," said Alan Dunn, the Jonesboro assistant fire chief. "We're better prepared when we arrive on the scene of an incident to go into action."

Dunn says people should consider adding details about the layout of their homes when setting up a profile.

"We're going to houses, businesses, commercial buildings all the time that we've never been into before," Dunn said. "If we have that information available to us, then we're able to carry out our duties and responsibilities more efficiently."

Presley also encourages cell phone users to set up a safety profile because it can be very difficult to pinpoint their locations when they call 911.

"With a profile," he said, "we can know exactly where you live and get the help to you."

To sign up for the Smart911 service, people must have an email address and access to the Internet.

Presley says the city plans to hold several town hall meetings to help those without Internet usage.

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