In an emergency situation, the first step is often to dial 9-1-1.
911 telecommunicators play a key role in figuring out the type of emergency that is occurring and determining the proper staff and equipment needed in the particular situation. Whether the individual has wandered, is having a medical emergency, a behavioral emergency, or is in another situation, it is vital to communicate that this person has autism and understand the response may require very specific actions. Smart911 can provide the important details needed by 9-1-1 and response teams to assist this person.
Wandering or Elopement
If the person with autism has wandered, their Safety Profile can provide a current photo, physical description and home address to assist responders in locating them quickly.
If the person with autism has a medical condition that requires specific medication, or if they are allergic to a medication, their Safety Profile can provide these details allowing for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
If the person with autism displays specific behavior in a situation, the proper way to approach and interact with them can be listed in their personal notes in their Safety Profile. This will give response teams details on handling each individual person.
If the person with autism is sensitive to flashing lights or sirens, or had a safe place in the home they will hide in when they are frightened, responders can be instructed to turn off sirens or lights, and where to look for that person. This is especially helpful in the event of a fire.
"The Chicagoland Chapter of Autism Speaks strives to provide information and resources to families touched by autism, which is why we support services like Smart911. The opportunity to provide very detailed information for 9-1-1 and response teams can make all the difference between life and death in emergency situations involving individuals with autism. We support and encourage the efforts to make services of these type available to all families in Illinois."
– Liz Klug - Executive Director - Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter
"As a resident of DuPage County and the mother of a son with Autism, I understand and support the need to provide information on my family to 9-1-1 and response teams. When my son James wandered from home a few years ago, I experienced firsthand a situation in which this type of information was needed. As a result I lobbied for additional measures to be implemented to assist in these situations. James' Law was signed in July of 2011. I believe a service such as Smart911 should also be made available in all communities in Illinois as an added measure to assist citizens regardless of their emergency."
– Nancy O'Brien - Founder - James's Law
"Autism Speaks Arkansas is dedicated to providing Family Services to those affected by Autism. Smart911 is a great benefit to these families, as it provides them a way to give detailed information on their family member with Autism including their photo, description, behavioral traits and notes on how to interact with the individual. As Smart911 becomes available across the state we strongly encourage all citizens, especially those affected by Autism to create their Safety Profile for enhanced response services."
– Becca Green - Co-chairwoman - Arkansas Walk Now for Autism Speaks