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EMS profile feature aims to assist first responders in emergency situations

Smart911 allows citizens to create a profile that notifies first responders of critical information and instructions when they dial 911.

ARKANSAS, USA — Every Arkansas resident has access to Smart911 which helps first responders during life-or-death situations.

According to their website, the service lets 911 operators and first responders retrieve "critical information" in the event of an emergency.

"Smart911 is a free service to all citizens across the state of Arkansas, which allows them to create a safety profile," said JP French, Smart911 state director for Arkansas. 

The profile aids and assists 911 dispatchers and first responders in responding to emergencies effectively and efficiently because it creates more situational awareness of what type of incident is occurring.

"We're talking about the impact on our emergency medical services as well as law enforcement and fire services. There's a direct impact with the information that can be contained within a safety profile," said French.

French explained that Arkansas leads many states as the only one nationwide with Smart911 at every 911 call center. According to French, information provided in safety profiles also works in other states, but the service must be available to the corresponding 911 call center. French suggests visiting the Smart911 availability page if you are traveling out of state and need the service. 

"Diabetes, autism, dementia, anything that you feel is important for our first responders to know, you have the ability to include that within your safety profile," said French. 

"Those things are pertinent not just for the telecommunicators, but for the responding units, so the paramedic can be thinking of what possible actions they need to take to help treat the patient," said Brandy Moore, communications battalion chief for Central EMS.

Credit: KFSM

According to their website, Central EMS provides ambulance service to 920 square miles of Washington County and serves over 200,000 people.

Roughly 66 million people have a Smart911 profile in the U.S. with 200,000 of those in Arkansas and 31,000 in Northwest Arkansas.

French stresses that creating a Smart911 profile is safe and individuals' personal information included in the database is not searchable. 

"It is available to that call taker for 45 minutes to utilize that information. If they need additional supplemental information, or, you know, heaven forbid, the caller can't speak, or they're having a heart attack, or there's a fire and they're choking, all that pertinent information even if they can't communicate is available," said French. 

"In emergency services time is key. I mean, it can make a difference in life or death. So all of the information that we can have on the front end if you cannot provide, it is monumental," said Battalion Chief Moore.

You can visit the Smart911 website to sign up and more about the service.

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