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County discontinuing Smart911 services due to low public interest

David Weissman
York Dispatch
York County will discontinue its $99,000 per year contract with Smart911 because not enough residents were using the service.

York County residents weren't taking advantage of a program intended to assist emergency responders, so the county is discontinuing the service to save money.

The county began using Smart911 in 2015 but will not renew its contract for 2018, according to a county news release.

The service, which was costing the county $99,000 per year, allows users to create free, detailed profiles so that a 911 dispatcher would be able to immediately know if a caller had medical conditions or allergies and if there were children or pets in the house.

Profiles also could include floor plans of a house and other information to help an emergency responder when they reach a destination linked to the caller.

About 1,000  users had signed up each year, according to the news release, but participation stagnated in 2017, and only about 1,000 people were maintaining active profiles.

“In a budget year when we vowed to not increase taxes, we could not justify paying $99,000 for a service that was used by so few people,” Commissioner Doug Hoke said in the release.

Commissioners unanimously passed the county's 2018 budget on Wednesday, Dec. 6, with no tax increase.

Anyone with a Smart911 profile could still have their information come up if they call 911 in an area, such as Luzerne County, that continues to use the service.