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Media Release

Beaufort County and Hilton Head Island Announce Smart911 for Enhanced Emergency Response

Release Date: September 1, 2015

Contact Information:
Cathy Jones-Gooding email icon , Communications Manager, 843-682-5129

Public safety officials encourage citizens to create a Safety Profile in case of emergency

What if there is a fire, a medical emergency, or a child goes missing?  When you dial 9-1-1, you’re panicked and even the simplest of details like an address or medical notes can be hard to remember. Beaufort County and Hilton Head Island officials announced today that there is a free new service in place to provide this information to dispatchers as soon as a 9-1-1 call is placed. Smart911 is a national service that allows citizens to create a free Safety Profile for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and first responders to have in the event of an emergency. If that citizen needs to dial 9-1-1, their Safety Profile will immediately display on the call taker’s screen, saving seconds and even minutes in response to the emergency.

“We take great pride in providing the best available resources to enhance safety in our community,” said Major David Zeoli, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.  “By utilizing this technology, our residents and visitors are now able to give us the information we need to better help them during a time of great distress, when communicating even the simplest of details can be difficult.”

Individuals can visit www.smart911.com to sign up and create a free Safety Profile for their household, providing information such as the names and photos of family members, health conditions, medications, pets in the home, vehicle details and emergency contacts. All information in each profile is voluntary, and each household can determine what details are important to include, as each household is different and therefore the potential rescue needs will also vary.

“Even the simplest of details can help our officers during an emergency,” said Cathy Gooding, 911 Communications Manager for Hilton Head Island. “With the large number of visitors to Hilton Head Island we often get 9-1-1 calls from people who don’t know the address of their hotel, and don’t know the area.  If they create a profile before or during their visit we’ll have more information to help them quickly.”

Smart911 will give 9-1-1 call takers the ability to send the appropriate response teams to the right location and with more information. Examples of situations in which Smart911 can assist include:

  • If a call is made from a mobile phone, a Safety Profile can provide an address which will allow first responders a location to respond to, even if cell service is poor or the call is dropped.
  • If there is a fire in the home, a Safety Profile can immediately provide details on how to gain access into the building, the number of residents and pets inside, and a floor plan detailing the location of bedrooms and nearest exits.
  • During a medical emergency, a Safety Profile can deliver important details on how to treat a patient, ranging from potential allergies to medical conditions such as epilepsy or autism.
  • In a car accident, the Safety Profile can include vehicle information, the citizen’s medical treatment restrictions and emergency contact details.

Smart911 also allows for commercial properties to create a profile for their building or campus at www.smart911facility.com. Anytime a call is made to 9-1-1 from that location, dispatchers will have details such as points of contact, access points and floor plans to send response teams quickly.

Smart911 has been adopted in 40 states and over 1,500 municipalities. It has been credited with positively impacting emergency situations and saving lives across the U.S., including a missing child case in Arkansas, a heart attack victim in Tennesee and a man trapped in a house fire in Michigan. In South Carolina it is also available in several counties including Abbeville, Aiken, Charleston, Cherokee, Edgefield and Orangeburg.

Citizens are encouraged to sign up for Smart911 and create a Safety Profile at www.smart911.com to ensure 9-1-1 will have access to their information during an emergency. Smart911 is private and secure, and is only made available to 9-1-1 when an emergency call is made.