By Joseph Knoop
Got an emergency? There’s an app for that. Boone County law enforcement and emergency response teams are implementing a new app to help residents save valuable minutes during times of danger and distress.
“Smart911,” available at smart911.com, allows users to connect a phone number to a profile that lists a resident’s basic information, including address, number of residents, medical conditions, room locations and more. The information is displayed to the dispatcher for 45 minutes, allowing the dispatcher to more quickly send an appropriate response team with the information they need. Photos can also be utilized for identification during a missing persons case.
Users can also opt in to receive emergency notifications during extreme weather, traffic or community events that may pose a threat or impede activity. This technology is designed to replace Boone County’s current system, known as NIXLE. Current NIXLE users will have to create a new Smart911 account before March 1, when all notifications begin running exclusively through the new application.
“We pride ourselves in using the most innovative technology in order to continually offer the highest level of safety and security for all residents, and Smart911 will offer exactly that to our Boone County community,” Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen said. “In a time when we rely heavily on technology for day-to-day activities, it’s a great thing to be able to use it to keep our community safer.”
Smart911 has been adopted for use in more than 1,500 municipalities across 40 states, with repeated success stories, including a role in saving a Michigan father’s life during a fire last year.
“The department leadership has always been a technologically-minded one, and [Smart911] is hopefully going to help out our citizens in ways we couldn’t before,” BCSO Major Brian Stevenson said.