Dubuque County Begins Smart 911

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter


By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Law officers in Dubuque County say they need to know people's private and personal information. They say that will save time during an emergency situation. But giving out those details is not something everyone is comfortable doing.

The county is asking for information as part of the new Smart-911 program. It's the first of its kind in Iowa.

Dubuque County dispatch is asking people to make a profile online at www.smart911.com. People can fill out helpful information that will pop-up on a dispatcher's computer during a 911 call.

Inside an ambulance, Medical Officer Tim Griebel depends on a lot of tools. He says his newest tool is something that's usually hard to come by. Information.

Griebel said, "We use that as another tool in the toolbox to help treat a patient for whatever condition it may be. "

That's a tool some residents don't necessarily want to lend out.

"We don't want people to be afraid to give us that information, because that's something that's only used by us. It's not general public information," said Griebel.

People living in Dubuque County can create a free, online profile through a private, third party company.

Dubuque 911 Center Manager Mark Murphy said, "They can put in medical conditions. They can include children's names and where they are located in the house. They can add a picture of their house if they want. "

Murphy says the only way officers and dispatchers gain access to someone's profile is if a registered user calls 911.

"We only get the information up for 45 minutes, after the 911 call and then it goes away," said Murphy.

First responders say knowing what they're walking into before arriving on scene saves time and will likely save lives.

"I hope everybody uses it. It's a great thing," said Murphy. "It can give us lots of possibilities, whether it's fire or medical or police situations. "

Dubuque County residents can create their own profile by visiting : www.smart911.com

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