There are two services in Daviess County that provide flexibility and ease the pressure during 911 emergency situations. Smart911 and Text 9-1-1 are two of the newer methods available in the area.
Smart911 came to Owensboro in 2011, and was sponsored by Owensboro-Daviess County Dispatch. It is a free service where residents are able to create a safety profile at Smart911.com. The profile can be used for individuals and families alike. Its purpose is to provide emergency dispatch with background information and details that otherwise might not be translated or expressed in an emergency.
Smart911 is “critical,” according to Paul Nave, OPD’s 911 Director. Cell towers in Daviess County don’t always provide the extended service needed during an emergency, said Nave. “It gives us something to go by.”
Lisa Maiden, the Adult Programming Coordinator at the Daviess County Public Library, says the service is very beneficial in providing efficiency.
“It’s a great tool for any emergency personnel, so they have a full medical background before an emergency,” said Maiden. “For seniors and those who don’t have internet services, we see them come into the library more often for help with their profiles.”
The impact of having prior knowledge allows dispatch personnel to respond faster, and with fewer complications. When creating a profile, residents are able to provide dispatch and first responders with background info ranging from pre-existing conditions and mental illness to more uncommonly addressed details like aggressive animals kept at the home. The profile only takes seven minutes to fill out, and the Daviess County Public Library has been helping residents create profiles since Smart911’s inception.
Click here to sign up or for Smart911.
Text 9-1-1 began in 2015 to provide emergency aid to situations where calling is either more difficult or dangerous for the individual.
“We were the first county in the state to use it,” Nave said of the service. “The motto for using it is, ‘Call when you can, text when you can’t.’”
Nave says texting 9-1-1 is used more frequently when there’s a need for discretion. Domestic violence is one of the most common situations for those who text 911 in Daviess County, according to Nave.
“In certain situations, it’s easier to text than to call,” Nave said.