Michigan Counties Now Offering Smart911

About 10% of Ottawa County residents have a Smart911 profile, though the number is growing. It may just save their lives.

Holland Sentinel

By Devin Dely

ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. -- In an effort to improve emergency response times and help first responders be more efficient when they're on the scene of an emergency, Allegan County residents may sign up for Smart911.

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Smart911 allows users to create a profile to input personal information that may be helpful to first responders, such as their address, the names of their children or pets, medical info, and photos of the user. The app also allows for users to add home and work phones and uses location services to send targeted alerts to individuals.

"We've had it live since September, but we were testing and getting our staff used to it before we pushed it out to the public," said Allegan County Central Dispatch director Jeremy Ludwig. "I hope it allows us to have information quicker so we can make faster decisions."

In Ottawa County, residents have had access to the service since 2014. Currently, about 10% of Ottawa County residents have a Smart911 profile, though the number is growing.

In true emergencies, time is critical, so not only does it help expedite our responses, but it's a more accurate way of getting information from somebody who might be in distress and may not be able to think clearly," said Allegan County Undersheriff Mike Larsen.

The Smart911 app is available on the Apple Store or Google Play.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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