Information is the most important commodity when police, fire or paramedics are dispatched to your home, and in the panic of the moment it's tough to remember everything.
Alpharetta has signed up with Smart911, a service that allows individuals to create a record of all the important personal and household information they want to share with emergency personnel when a 911 call is made. When a person calls on a registered phone number, the information automatically pops up for dispatchers to use.
Milton, which has its police and fire personnel dispatched by Alpharetta's 911 center, also is participating in Smart911, according to Jason Wright, communications manager for Milton
George Gordon, spokesman for the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety, said residents can include information such as what vehicles are at the home, pets, firearms, if any family member is disabled, where gas and water lines are, where the doors are to the home and "any information whatsoever they want a 911 call taker to know."
Visit Smart911.com to register your phone(s) and provide dispatchers with emergency information when you dial 911.
Gordon said a big piece of information is what medications a person takes. If ambulance crews know what medicines a victim is taking, they will be formulating their emergency medical response even before they arrive at the scene.
Smart911 is in 20 states now, he said.
The information is portable, so if someone has registered a phone number here in Alpharetta or Milton and they travel to Topeka, Kansas or one of the other communities already signed up for Smart911, the dispatchers out there will see the exact same information Alpharetta dispatchers see when a 911 call is made in those towns.
Cellphones are hard to track, and though police are getting better at locating people, especially if they are in an area within three cell towers' range, this service makes it easier to track a person.
There's no extra charge to residents for Smart911. The 911 fee paid by anyone living in the city who has a mobile phone or land line phone pays for the service. Set aside a few moments to register and fill out the information you want dispatchers to see when you dial 911. You can always come back and update information.
Smart911 probably has more seniors signed up, but the age brackets are coming down, Gordon said.
"This is one of the times social media really pays off. This will end up saving lives," Gordon said.