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856 sign up for York County's Smart911
More than 850 people have created Smart911 profiles in the month since York County rolled out the program aimed at aiding dispatchers when sending first responders to emergencies.
When someone who has signed up for the system calls the York County 911 center in Springettsbury Township, their profile will pop up on a dispatcher's computer screen.
Through the end of October, the profiles were used in dispatching first responders to 135 calls, according to the county.
As of Nov. 13, 856 residents have created profiles, said Carl Lindquist, the county spokesman.
“This is a strong first step for the Smart911 program,” Doug Hoke, vice president commissioner, said in a statement. “We encourage everyone to take 10 minutes out of their day to create a profile.”
But officials are working to get even more people to register for the voluntary program.
Efforts: The county has solicited the help of 20 municipalities or school districts that have agreed to post a link to Smart911 on their web pages.
Officials have also taken to social media and its own website to spread the word and is alerting people through it's Office of Children, Youth and Families, Lindquist said.
"We're working hard to reach out to the county," he said.
Officials will also turn to senior centers to tell York's elderly about the program. Staff will be on hand to help seniors navigate the Internet and create a profile if they opt to.
Lindquist also encouraged tech-savvy residents to help their older relatives create a profile.
Smart911 officials have said areas typically get 30 percent to 40 percent of residents to sign up for the program. To meet that rate, York County has a long way to go with the 856 who have registered accounting for less than 1 percent of the population.
"It's going to be a long, continuous effort," Lindquist said.
The program: The county launched Smart911 in early October about the same time it introduced its text-to-911 system, allowing people to text 911 in times of emergencies.
Commissioners in August inked a deal for Smart911 licenses at a cost of $40,500. Starting in January, the county will be charged a $99,000 yearly licensing fee.
Residents can provide as much or as little information as they choose. Profiles can include information such as the layout of a home, mobility problems, emergency contacts, medical conditions and more.
Profiles are displayed on a dispatcher's computer screen only when someone dials or texts 911, and it is displayed for 45 minutes. Information can be shared with emergency personnel in the field.
To create a profile, go to smart911.com.
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.