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Missoulians can beef up household safety profile to help in emergencies

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Jan 03 2013 06:15:30 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Missoulians who choose to, can give 911 more detailed household information, in hopes it will help in an emergency.

For about a year now, Missoulians have been able to create a safety profile to help emergency responders.

Now, there's an effort to beef that up even more.

Callers who use the Smart 911 program provide dispatchers with vital information.

Where bedrooms are located, for instance, where the utility shutoffs are, important information that could save time and lives.

"When the user calls in their phone number it triggers the system," said Missoula County Department of Emergency Services manager Chris Lounsbury.

Now, with the user's permission, emergency workers will gather more information.

Like, do you have a generator?

Do you need assistance getting out of your residence?

Lounsbury recommends Smart 911 for cell phone users especially.

911 picks up approximate locations from cell phones, said Lounsbury, but maybe not your apartment of the floor you live on.

"By creating a safety profile," he said, " you can put that physical address so it immediately ties it so we'll know the apartment number."

He recommends cell phone users sign up.

Missoula 911 gets 15 to 20 calls a week from people connected to Smart 911.