Washington County Dispatchers Get Information Faster With Unique 911 System

Wednesday, May 7th 2014, 5:58 pm
By: News On 6

Bartlesville has become only the second Oklahoma community to sign up for a unique 911 system that could be the difference between life and death.

Smart911 allows residents to share important information with dispatchers.

Dispatchers say every bit of information they can get makes a huge difference, now dispatchers in Bartlesville and Washington County have a new tool to protect residents.

It's a typical busy day inside the Bartlesville 911 center. Dispatchers take calls from all over the city and Washington County.

Larry Noblitt has been here for three decades.

"We started with a plain typewriter and pieces of paper you filled out, and now we're up to computer aided dispatching," Noblitt said.

The latest digital help comes in a system called Smart911.

"The Smart911 program will make my job a lot easier, a whole lot easier," said Noblitt.

Residents register with the system and fill out as much personal information as they want; garage door codes, types of vehicles, number of pets, medical conditions, anything.

When you call from a registered number, that information pops up on a screen for dispatchers to read and pass on to emergency responders.

Captain Jay Hastings with the Bartlesville Police, said, "By giving a name and home address it gives us a lot more to go on."

Hastings said no one has access to the information until a 911 call is made to the Bartlesville 911 center. He said residents can list as much, or as little, information as they choose and it's strictly voluntary.

The goal is to help dispatchers cut down the time it takes for police, fire, or medics to respond to an emergency,

"In the middle of that emergency, and the middle of that 911 call, a lot of times people aren't thinking clearly. They're just trying to get somebody there to get help, so the dispatcher is relying completely on what they hear," Hastings said.

Anyone can register on the Smart911 system; you don't have to live in Bartlesville of Washington County.