King County WA has just signed up to participate in the new Smart 911 service. If you live in King Co, or in any other participating part of the US, you should consider adding your details to this database.
When you call 911 from a phone you have registered with Smart 911, and if the call is answered by a 911 Dispatch Service that participates in the Smart 911 service, they will get all sorts of helpful information appear on their display, in addition to simply your name and phone number and the phone’s registered address.
You can add a lot of information that might make all the difference when fire, paramedics or police are sent to respond to your call for help. You can include photos of the people who live in your home to aid in identification, and a photo of your house too.
A little considered situation is that if the police respond to a burglary call; when they get there, they don’t know who the burglars are and who the lawful residents are. It would be helpful if you have your photos in the Smart 911 database, so that when the police find you, they relax a bit and don’t have their finger quite so tightly on the trigger while pointing their guns at you. It is also helpful, as a ‘best practice’, to keep some photos of yourself somewhere on display so when the police try to work out who is who, you can point them to your pictures. A picture of you and your other family members smiling in front of your house/apartment is the best confirmation of all.
In my case, I took a picture of my house as it appears from the driveway, and then added an arrow to point to the main doorway too (which was obscured in the photo). I also provided information on an alternate way to access the property from another street, in case multiple police units respond, making it easier for them to secure the perimeter and to catch any fleeing felons.
You can also add information about medical conditions to help paramedics know what they might need to prepare for or respond to, information about pets, cars, and all sorts of other information.
I’ve had problems with first responders having difficulty finding my place in the past. This new service is sure to help. Best of all it is free. So go and join now.
It might save a minute or two of confusion, and that might literally mean the difference between life and death.