Hale County 911 service gets major upgrade
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Jacyn Abbott
When Hale County residents call 911 in an emergency, dispatchers have a lot more information at their disposal, including the caller’s exact location.
The county is now using the RapidSOS platform, a free emergency response data system that can locate and track callers and can link life-saving data from an online profile to emergency services and first responders. Learn more about how you can set up a profile below.
Hale County 911 Supervisor Cherie Bunn said the program cuts down on dispatch response time because location guessing games are no longer necessary.
“We have travelers who come through that aren’t aware of the area,” Bunn said. “We might know where a church on Highway 69 is, but they won’t because they might not know the name. So, when a call comes through RapidSOS, we already know their location.”
First responders are also getting some major benefits from the new system.
Hale County Emergency Management Agency Director Russell Weeden said the software has helped him navigate in areas he’s not familiar with, and it ensures first responders arrive on scenes more informed.
“You can get all your information on the phone rather than from the radio and see what dispatch has given you and where exactly to go,” Weeden said.
All information shared with the program is collected and protected by the Emergency Health Profile Association. Profiles are linked to the phone number is listed on an online profile.
Information available through these profiles include:
- Name, date of birth and address
- Pre-existing conditions
- Emergency contacts
Information is shared with emergency personal when a caller contacts 911. Signing up is an easy three-step process.
- Go to emergencyprofile.org
- Click “Sign Up”
- Enter contact and health information and save
Hale County dispatchers encourage residents in the county to register, as well as anyone who may find themselves calling 911 someday. Many dispatch services make use of these systems, and having important emergency information easily available for first responders can be the difference between life and death.