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Suffolk offers new way to register emergency details
Suffolk County has launched a system that allows residents to preregister information that can be accessed immediately by firefighters and paramedics responding to emergency calls.
County leaders Tuesday announced implementation of the “Smart911” system, in which residents can go online and create a profile, connected to their phone numbers, which will only be available to fire, rescue and emergency services operators. Information such as address, home layout, and whether family members have special medical needs can be used by officials to form a more effective 911 response.
“Taking a few minutes now to provide pertinent information regarding your household and family can help to reduce response times and save lives,” County Executive Steve Bellone said.
Officials say the system, provided by Framingham, Mass.-based Rave Mobile Safety, is more useful since about 70 percent of 911 calls are now made from mobile phones, which often aren’t immediately connected with addresses. Lexington, Ky., Nashville, Tenn., and Culver City, Calif., are among municipalities that have signed on to use the system.
Suffolk’s contract with Rave Mobile Safety called for an initial $45,000 expense — covered by federal grant money — to set up the system, said county spokeswoman Vanessa Baird-Streeter. Maintenance will cost $40,000 a year, which officials expect to also be covered by grants.
Residents may visit www.smart911.com to create their profiles, which Bellone said would be kept “100 percent private and secure.”