When emergencies happen, seconds matter. And when we call 9-1-1 in an emergency, we expect the call takers to know where we are and to dispatch help to get there fast. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Many PSAPs around the country are still using antiquated legacy systems that do not provide complete information to the 9-1-1 dispatcher. This can result in longer call times, less accurate location information, slower response times, and fewer lives saved.
However, other municipalities are adopting new technologies that shave seconds, even minutes, off of response times. Synergem has been in the industry for over 25 years innovating new methods and processes to shift away from the traditional 9-1-1 call handling services and shifting into Next Generation 9-1-1 solutions.
Recently, we’ve been hearing a lot about Smart911 and getting questions about the difference between Smart911 and Next Generation 9-1-1. Therefore, we thought we’d share this information as a resource to PSAPs and anyone else within the 9-1-1 industry.
What is Smart911 and how does it work?
Smart911 is a service that provides crucial information to 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. Individuals, families, and businesses can register their landlines and mobile devices with their safety profiles, which include their 9-1-1 information. This information is pulled and sent to first responders as they are on their way to the location of the emergency. What we love about this system is it may result in faster response time and potentially greater situational awareness.
Things to include in your Smart911 profile
What you should include in your Smart911 profile is critical information you’d want first responders to have immediately, even before getting to your home. You can include as much or as little information as you’d like in your profile.
- Names and phone numbers of people in your household
- Physical information: hair and eye color
- Visual details of your home
- Entry codes
- Hidden access points
- Bedroom location in your home
- Medical information
- Car information
Next Generation 9-1-1
We believe Smart911 is an extremely helpful service, especially in cities using legacy networks. And it’s already making a huge positive impact in cities around the country. However, it should not be confused with Next Generation 9-1-1.
Next Generation 9-1-1 is an IP-based network that will replace entire legacy 9-1-1 systems. While your Smart911 safety profile is only as good as the information you put into it, this new digital technology will support real-time, rich communication including voice, text messages, live videos, and photos between caller and dispatcher. And we all know a picture is worth 1,000 words.
In addition, a Smart911 profile may be valuable for an emergency at home, or in the location listed in your safety profile, while Next Generation 9-1-1 can handle any emergency from any location. Talking about location, the system will transmit accurate location information directly from your phone, and has the capability to get data from other devices such as building video cameras for crime scene information prior to their arrival on the scene. All of this information will instantly be transferred to the first responders headed to the scene.
Advances in 9-1-1 : Smart911 and Next Generation 9-1-1
The important thing to note is that the 9-1-1 industry is advancing in great strides. Smart911 is providing important location and situational awareness information through their safety profiles and Next Generation 9-1-1 is transferring real-time data in an emergency using the technologies and methods of communication we are using today. We are proud to be a part of great change in the public safety of our country.
To learn more about Next Generation 9-1-1 check out this blog, and please feel free to contact us.