Culpeper County, Va., debuted a new service Wednesday intended to give police and firefighters more information when responding to emergencies. The service, called Smart911, is voluntary for county residents and free.
To use the service, residents must create an online profile at www.Smart911.com. Profiles can include information about a caller’s home, vehicle, children, pets and medical conditions. That information would be available to dispatchers whenever they receive a 911 call from the phone number on the account.
“Knowing what kind of situation we are walking into can help us to better plan our response to save time and ultimately lives,” said Town of Culpeper Police Chief Chris Jenkins.
Police say the service would be especially helpful for apartment residents who have cell phones, but not land lines. Nationally, about 70 percent of 911 calls are made from cell phones, according to Smart911.
The company says its service is currently available in 29 states and more than 350 municipalities. It says the service is private and secure.