In an emergency, time is of the essence, and responders need as much information as possible before they arrive at a scene.
“A lot of times there’s panic, there’s chaos, there’s fear, they’re upset and they can’t think of the things that they might want to share with someone to help them,” said John Luther, director of Washington County Emergency Management.
Now folks in Washington and Benton Counties, and the entire state, can take matters into their own hands.
Benton County’s Smart 911 program has been up and running for more than a year.
“It will just allow emergency personnel to find you and locate you that much faster,” said Sgt. Craig Stout with the Fayetteville Police Department.
Smart 911 allows folks to enter as little or as much personal information as they choose, for free.
“You can even upload a picture of what your home looks like. You can also put information in there such as gas utilities, where the shut offs are for that,” Stout said.
Then, if you ever have an emergency, the dispatcher can see your Smart 911 information and hopefully respond quickly and more appropriately.
“Not only do we know where you are now when you call, we also have some information that you might not be able to tell us at the time of the emergency,” said Luther.
Dispatchers can only see your Smart 911 information during a 911 call.
“Some partnerships in the central part of the state went together to fund it this year and so it’s provided to the counties and to the cities and to the citizens free of charge.”
Now officials hope people will log on, and sign up.