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News : City Upgrades Emergency Dispatch System
Milan, MI, Nov 16, 2014 -- City officials are hoping an upgraded 911 system will improve response to emergencies by providing 911 operators more information about callers.
After hearing a presentation Nov. 10 by Rave Mobile Safety based in Framingham, Mass., the City Council voted to approve adoption of the company’s Smart911 upgrade and to go forward with a 5-year license approval with the company. Fees are paid for through 911 fees received from Washtenaw and Monroe counties.
While the state of Michigan is already providing funds to dispatch centers across the state for implementing a basic Smart 911 upgrade to their 911 systems, Milan will adopt an enhanced version that allows for citizen created profiles.
The program allows a person to voluntarily register his or her phone number and a profile online, providing information such as an address, specific medical conditions, pets in the home, photos of children and whatever other information the person chooses to include about his or her household.
Registration for the online program is free and the information provided is only available to the dispatcher if the call comes from the telephone number registered to Smart 911. According to the company, the information is kept on their third party database, is not searchable and is only made available during the emergency. The service is only available in those municipalities that have installed the software.
For Milan, the city’s adoption of the Smart911 system means that its dispatch center would have the additional citizen profile information available when emergency calls come through their call center from a Smart 911 registered user, regardless of whether or not the caller is a resident, business owner or visitor and whether the call comes from a landline or mobile phone.
Annually, the Milan Police Department’s dispatch center receives around 1000 911 calls, according to a report from the department. Through September of this year, the center received 1,050 911 calls.
The added information in the Smart911 system, Mayor Michael Armitage said, can be invaluable, especially in situations in which someone is unable to communicate with dispatchers.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, November 18, 2014