Earlier this month, Culver City fully deployed the relatively new emergency dispatch system known as Smart911. Approximately 350 cities in the U.S., across 29 states have already implemented the setup, but Culver City became the first in California to adopt the new approach. The city is confident that the new technology will help police, fire, and ambulance departments respond more efficiently to 911 calls.
The advantages of this system include better information regarding potential 911 callers. Smart911 allows residents to create emergency profiles that are connected to land lines and cell phones. These profiles can include information regarding medial conditions, number of residents at a location, locations of bedrooms, and related data. Other municipalities are taking note of Culver City’s changes. Los Angeles is now exploring options for similar emergency dispatch systems, and will be accepting bids for such services in the near future.
With so many advancements in technology, emergency dispatch centers and systems have long been scrutinized for being outdated. Smart911, which has been in operation since 2011 is seeking to reverse that trend. The company is thriving, as nearly 70 percent of 911 calls now come from cell phones, which typically yield less information about callers than land lines.
Culver City paid $25,000 for three years of the service, and authorities are hoping that at least 20 percent of the city’s 40,000 residents eventually create an emergency profile. In a perfect world, that number would be even higher than that, but many individuals are skeptical about how their personal information may be used. If security of the data can be guaranteed this is a service that could be around for a very long time.