Hoping to improve response times, officials in Culver City unveiled on Monday a “Smart911” system that allows residents to give authorities information about themselves and their homes that will be displayed to 911 operators during an emergency.
Culver City is the first city in the state to use the system, which will cost $25,000 in the first year. Officials are encouraging residents to sign up at no cost. They promise the information will be kept private.
“This data is never accessed except in an emergency,” said Culver City Police Chief Donald Pedersen.
Culver City Mayor Andrew Weissman said the system will allow both 911 call takers and emergency responders to have more detailed information about a citizen in need with the hope of saving more lives.
"You can now better prepare yourself and your family for any kind of emergency," said Culver City Fire Chief Christopher Sellers.
Smart911 allows citizens to create a safety profile for their household that includes any information they want 911 and emergency response teams to have in the event of an emergency, said Culver City police Lt. Ron Iizuka.
When a citizen makes an emergency call, their safety profile is automatically displayed to the 911 call taker, Iizuka said.
"This allows them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information," Iizuka said.
"Fire crews can be aware of such things as how many people live at a home and the location of bedrooms," he said. "Paramedics can know about specific conditions for fast, precise medical treatment.
Smart911, which is available in 28 states and more than 350 municipalities, was introduced less than two years ago by Rave Mobile Safety.
"When people call 911 and can't speak, the information that is available to 911 on that incoming call is limited, often only to a phone number and general location," said Tom Axbey of Rave Mobile Safety.
"When citizens elect to put more information in the hands of emergency responders prior to an emergency, they enable faster and more knowledgeable response, protecting not only themselves but their families as well," he said.
City News Service contributed to this report.