Smart 911 comes to Ottawa County
March 03, 2014

 Ottawa County Enhances Public Safety With Smart911


Public Safety Officials Encourage Residents to Sign Up For the Free Service That Provides Emergency Responders With More Information to Save Time and Save Lives


Ottawa County, Mich., March 3, 2014 – Ottawa County Central Dispatch Executive Director Tim Smith announced today at a press conference at Ottawa County Central Dispatch that Smart911, the national public safety service, is now available in Ottawa County and the entire City of Holland to enhance the 9-1-1 emergency services.  Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile online that includes any information about themselves or their household that they want 9-1-1 to have in an emergency. When that citizens makes a 9-1-1 call, their profile is immediately displayed to the 9-1-1 call-taker, resulting in far greater emergency response and saved lives. 


“Smart911 will allow both 9-1-1 call takers and emergency responders to have more detailed information about a citizen in need, leading to faster response times and ultimately more lives saved,” said Director Smith. “We are excited that we are able to offer this life saving technology here in Ottawa County through Ottawa County Central Dispatch.  This new technology will enable us to provide better services in our community.”  


Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile at for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and response teams to have in the event of an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information.  Responders can be aware of many details they would not have known previously, and now fire crews can arrive at a house fire knowing how many people live in the home and the location of bedrooms, EMS can be advised of allergies or specific medical conditions and police can have the photo of a missing child in seconds rather than minutes or hours.    


“When you call 9-1-1, you’re not having your best day and even the simplest of details can be difficult to communicate in a time of panic, “said Ottawa County Undersheriff Greg Steigenga. “By creating a Safety Profile before an emergency happens they are ensuring that we will have the information we need even if they can’t communicate it.”



With Smart911, citizens can link both home and work addresses to mobile phones, which can be passed on to responders in the field for more a detailed, rapid response.  Additional information including pets in the home, vehicle details in the event of an accident, and even emergency contacts can all be included in a Safety Profile.  All information is optional and the citizen has the ability to choose what details they would like to include. 


“The more information made available to 9-1-1 call takers the better," said Holland Public Safety Chief Matt Messer. “Knowing how many people live in the home, where the bedrooms are located and even pets in the home can ensure we know who we need to help and where they might be”


Smart911 is currently available in 32 states and more than 450 municipalities across the country, and has been credited with positively impacting emergency outcomes including a missing child in which the girls photo and physical description were immediately available to 9-1-1 and responders, as well as a heart attack victim where an address and medical notes allowed responders to be dispatched to his location quickly.  In Michigan Smart911 is also available in Grand Traverse, Van Buren, Eaton and Ionia Counties.


“When citizens put more information in the hands of emergency responders prior to an emergency, they are enabling faster and more knowledgeable response,” said Jeff Hawke, Chief of Grand Haven Public Safety.  “We are excited about this new addition to our service and encourage all citizens to take advantage and sign up at to ensure added protection for themselves and their families.”


Citizens are encouraged to create their Safety Profile with Smart911 today to have their information immediately available to 9-1-1. Smart911 is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses, and only made available to the 9-1-1 system in the event of an emergency call.