A new emergency communications program approved by the Casa Grande City Council will allow Casa Grande residents to enter medical and other information into a computer bank that will automatically pop up when 911 is dialed, saving time for emergency responders.
It’s called Smart911, offered by Rave Mobile Safety.
As the staff report accompanying the agenda item describes it, “Smart911 allows members of the community to register and provide information about themselves, their family members, their homes and workplaces, medical conditions and other pertinent information.”
It continues, “Citizens provide profile data into the Smart911 database prior to an emergency. When a registered user dials 911 from a registered device to a dispatch center, the caller’s profile will open on the call taker’s screen. This information can then be sent to the mobile units in the field. By providing this information to the first responders, it can help them make more informed decisions, helping better protect themselves and residents.”
The program, at a cost of $32,000 under a three-year contract, brought some questions from the council.
Councilwoman Mary Kortsen asked how the word will be spread through the city about registering and whether there would be confidentiality issues with personal information.
On the confidentiality issue, Mike Brashier, commander of the Public Safety Communications Division said, “The information is on the Rave server. We do not have access to the information unless the person makes a 911 call, so we cannot just go in and look it up. Once you make a 911 call, that information will stay active for about 45 minutes, at that time the window will close and we don’t see that information any longer.”
He added, “How we’re going to reach out, is we’re going to use our PIO from the city and work with the Police Department, the Facebook pages. They (Rave) supply monthly information that we can publish and put out tips about it.”
Councilman Matt Herman asked what the threshold for registered users would be.
“I know it can help,” he said, “but if we have 200 people registered it’s probably not worth our time.”
Brashier answered, “With the confidentiality, we’re not going to know how many citizens here register. We will be able to tell how many times we’ve used it.”
Herman responded, “You can’t tell how many people are in it?”
Michele Nelson, Rave regional sales director for public information, said the number of registered users in Casa Grande’s ZIP codes will be available.
“Don’t need to know who it is,” Herman said, “just need to know how many so that way we’re not spending all this money for three people’s information to pop up, which I don’t think will happen.”
Councilman Karl Montoya wanted to know how the information in Smart911 will be kept updated.
Nelson answered, “On the (personal) safety profile, if you haven’t touched it in six months you will continue to get reminders. After so many reminders, that information becomes stored in the database for seven years and will be available until you actually go to update it. We want that information.”