Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 7, 2014

Dispatch: Smart911 worth the price


County Commissioner Christine Maxbauer said it won’t make sense for the county to continue Smart911 if those numbers don’t improve. She said county officials need to encourage more residents to create profiles.

“I’m not being critical of (Anderson), I’m just saying the county board needs to do a better job getting the word out, and I would be remiss if I did not include myself in that,” she said.

Anderson said central dispatch officials promoted Smart911 through presentations at local senior centers and through partnerships with rural fire departments. She encouraged more county residents to sign up for the service, which is completely confidential.

911 officials made sure of that when they inked a contract with Rave Mobile Safety, the company behind Smart911, Anderson said. The business’ privacy policy ensures clients’ information will not be distributed to any third parties. She said even dispatchers can’t view someone’s profile unless they call 911.

“I think it reassures people that the info is going to be utilized only if it is necessary and it will help us help them in an emergency,” she said.

The value of Smart911 should continue to grow as more counties in the state adopt the service, Anderson said. A Smart911 profile created downstate, for example, and linked to a cell phone is accessible to Grand Traverse dispatchers and could be invaluable for addressing an emergency during vacation season.




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