Meceola Central Dispatch to begin using Smart 911 service

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Dispatchers and emergency personnel in Mecosta and Osceola counties will soon be able to gather important patient information as soon as a call is placed.

Mecosta and Osceola counties are now participating with Smart 911, a service residents can sign up for at no cost by logging onto a computer or downloading the app on their phones.

Smart 911 is safe and secure method for residents to log information about themselves and their families, such as details about medical conditions, specials needs or other important details that may be useful for responders during an emergency.

Meceola Central Dispatch is expected to have the service up and running in the next 30 to 60 days, said Director Laurie Smalla.

“You can put in as much information as you want; it’s up to each person,” Smalla said. “And it will work not just in our area, but with any 911 center that utilizes Smart 911. So if you’re traveling and you call 911 and they have this, they will have the information you’ve provided.”

Information about pets, children and special circumstances can be extremely useful to those responding to an emergency, she said.

Dispatch centers with Smart 911 will receive a call and if the number associated with the call has information in Smart 911, a window will pop up and share the information with the dispatcher, Smalla said.

The service works for both landlines and cellphones, and is not just for individuals.

“Businesses also can participate and schools, too,” Smalla said. “They can upload maps of the facility which could be very helpful when trying to locate someone.”

Smart 911 is used in nearby counties, such as Newaygo, Lake, Montcalm and soon Isabella County will begin to use it, Smalla said.

“The majority of 911 centers in Michigan already have this, but we held off at first because it’s expensive for us to have it,” she said. “It’s free for people to sign up, but on our end we didn’t have the money. But State of Michigan legislators heard about Smart 911 and liked it, and now we will get funding from the state through 2019 to be able to have Smart 911.”

While the service is not active quite yet in Mecosta and Osceola counties, Smalla encourages residents to sign up now.

“It’s still good throughout the country and we will have it here soon,” she said. “The more people we can get using it, the more information we can use at dispatch centers to provide better service.”

To learn more and to create an account, visit smart911.com.