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Online profiles to help Berrien County dispatchers

Berrien County, Mich. - Berrien County residents now have access to new technology that allows you to build an online profile – for free – to help 9-1-1 dispatchers help you.

 “There’s just so many scenarios that we can apply this information to that can help a little bit or a lot,” said Berrien County Dispatch Center Director Dave Agens.

Smart911 and RAVE Facility are two websites that are transforming how dispatchers do their job.

“I would tell anyone who has elderly parents or younger kids, it would definitely help,” said Berrien County Dispatcher Danyeal McGee.

You can consider Smart911 to be your Facebook profile for all things emergency-related.

You sign up for free online and plug in whatever information you’d like a dispatcher to know when they respond to your call for help.

“You can program emergency contacts, medication, your doctor, pets,” McGee said. “Anything that you want, you can program in there.”

The information is protected on a secure server.

“It only comes to 9-1-1 when you dial 9-1-1,” Agens said. “We can’t go into it and search it, so it’s closed from both ends.”

RAVE Facility focuses on places like schools and businesses.

You can type in your company’s floor plan or a gate combination – any information you think would come in handy for first responders.

McGee said the new service will help her help you, because time is of the essence in emergencies.

“Seconds count,” she said. “We tell anybody seconds count. The faster we get there, the better.”

The online program is national, so if you sign up in Berrien County but call 9-1-1 from another county that uses it, those dispatchers will also see your information.

McGee said it’s great for children because if you’re signed up for it and they need to call 9-1-1, they don’t even have to speak on the phone because the necessary information pops up onto the computer screens the dispatchers use.

Berrien County has an 18-month free trial through the state to test out the program.

To sign up for Smart911 (for free), click here.

To sign up for RAVE Facility (for free), click here.

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