Making 911 Smarter

From the Harvard Police Department:

Woodstock, IL – The McHenry County Emergency Telephone System Board is pleased to announce the implementation of the free innovative public safety service, Smart911.

Smart911 allows residents, employees, and visitors within McHenry County, prior to an emergency, to provide information about themselves and family members.

Register today at Smart911 is free, private, and secure.

Smart911 is a national database meaning your Safety Profile will be immediately available in McHenry County and to all participating 9-1-1 centers across the United States when an individual’s 9-1-1 call is answered. Telecommunicators and emergency responders will receive, and made aware of, the individual’s self-provided vital personal and medical information to help understand and respond to an emergency faster and with more detail.

The information is associated with a mobile or home phone number, via a self- registration portal. Information such as known medical issues, mental health conditions, emergency contacts, and locations of utility shut offs within a home or business, are just a few examples of what can be entered.

Your Safety Profile is private and secure, and only available to 9-1-1 when you place an emergency call from a registered phone number.

When you create your Safety Profile, you choose what information to include and what details are important to share with responders. Every household has different needs, and Smart911 allows you to customize your Safety Profile to your household. Additional information can help responders better understand who may be in need of assistance, where they are located, and gauge their response accordingly.

For example, when a child is reported missing, and the caller’s profile contains the child’s current photo and physical description, the telecommunicator is able to forward these details to officers in the field to expedite a search. This is also of great benefit for children with autism or adults with Alzheimer’s or Dementia who may wander.

The information provided to the responding personnel can make a great difference in any situation. Knowing the apartment number for a caller in a multiple unit building, having information on someone in the house who has a physical or mental disability, and knowing utility details such as the location of gas, heating, and water shut off valves can have a huge impact on response times and effectiveness.

If there is a fire in your home, it is important for responding agencies to be aware of how many people and animals could be in the home. The location and number of bedrooms to begin a search can assist in bringing everyone to safety. Pets may also be included in your profile, which can lead to greater safety not only for your pet, but also for responding officers.

You may even include details about your vehicles should you be in an accident, and are able to call 9-1-1 to report the emergency, as well as providing emergency contacts that may need to be notified.

Today, approximately 70% of incoming calls to 9-1-1 are from mobile phones, and the only information available is the incoming phone number and some general information of the caller’s location. At times, it may be difficult to quickly and accurately determine the exact location of an emergency.

With a Smart911 Safety Profile, 9-1-1 telecommunicators and responding agencies can receive the work or home address associated with the calling phone number, along with any other information individuals elect to share, which can then be passed on to responding personnel in the field.

9-1-1 centers receive various types of calls, and when the caller is frantic, experiencing a medical emergency, unable to speak, is a young child, or the situation hinders the caller’s ability to offer accurate information, their Safety Profile may provide those missing details that can help us determine the appropriate response.

It is important to reiterate, your Safety Profile is private and secure, and only available to 9-1-1 when you place an emergency call from a registered phone number.

Please direct any questions to Tiki Carlson, McHenry County ETSB Director, at 815-337-7911 or

Smart911 Frequently Asked Questions:

How does Smart911 work?

Smart911 allows citizens to provide the additional details that 9-1-1 call takers may need in order to assist them during an emergency. When you dial 9-1-1 today the information received by the 9-1-1 call center can be limited based on the type of phone you are calling on. With Smart911, anytime you make an emergency call from a phone registered with your Safety Profile, the 9-1-1 systems recognizes your phone number and automatically displays your profile on the screen of the call taker who receives your call.

What is a Safety Profile?

A Safety Profile is a set of information about an individual, or a household that is contained within one account on Information can include details about all members of the household, all phone numbers (mobile, landline or VOIP) and all addresses including home, work and even vacation homes. Users can also add details about medical conditions, medications, vehicles, pets and even emergency contacts.

What kind of information can I list in my safety profile?

You can include as little or as much information in your profile as you like.
Information may include address, medical and security information. This
service is voluntary, so you decide what information you want emergency
responders to know about you when you call 9-1-1.

Who should create a Safety Profile?

Anyone can create a safety profile. Those that are especially encouraged to sign up are people with medical or disability information. Wireless phone users are also encouraged, as wireless phone calls to 9-1-1 only provide a general location of the caller, not an exact address. Adding your home, school and work addresses (including apartment and room numbers) can help responders locate you more easily.

How long does it take to create a Safety Profile?

Setting up a profile can take as little as 5-10 minutes, depending on how much information you wish to provide. You can always go back and update existing, or add additional information to your profile.

How do I know if my Safety Profile was successfully created?

When you complete registration, Smart911 will automatically direct you to your Smart911 Safety Profile and will send a message to your registered email address confirming your account. Smart911 will not deliver your Safety Profile to 9-1-1 answering centers unless you have verified the phone(s) listed in your profile by responding to the text message or automated call placed to that phone.

Is there a cost to sign up for Smart911?

There is no fee to create or maintain a Safety Profile with Smart911.

Can I include my family members?

You are encouraged to create a Safety Profile that includes everyone in your household. You can also create Safety Profile on behalf of elderly parents, those with disabilities, or anyone not comfortable with computers, designating the emergency contact.

What if English is not my primary language?

You can create a Safety Profile in multiple languages and specify your primary language. When your profile displays at the 9-1-1 center, it will be translated back into English. If an interpreter is required, the 9-1-1 Call Taker will be able to see which language you designated as your primary language.

Once I have signed up do I need to do anything else?

The more up-to-date your information is, the better. Smart911 prompts users to verify their information every six months. However, you should update your profile anytime there is any change to your information.

Is my information secure?

Yes. Your privacy is important to us. Your information is made available
ONLY to 9-1-1 call takers and responders ONLY in the event you call 9-1-1. Your information is stored in geo-redundant databases that restrict access to everyone- including Rave Mobile Safety employees. Your Safety Profile is non- searchable and your information will only be displayed to 9-1-1 dispatchers for a limited amount of time. In some areas, you can choose to allow Smart911 to share your profile with Emergency Managers as they prepare for and respond to emergencies. If you reside or work in one of these areas, you will be presented with this option.

Will my Safety Profile still work if something happens to the Rave Mobile Safety databases?

Yes. Your information is stored in geo-redundant databases that are located on opposite sides of the country. In the unlikely event of a database shutdown, the system will automatically transition all of your information to the backup database, resulting in zero impact to your Safety Profile.


Making 911 Smarter — 15 Comments

  1. too long didn’t read

    You know what’s innovative and works fine?

    Dialing 911.

  2. Would have to check out their website and press.

    As for the Internet of Things, not a big fan. I use my phone as… a phone. No automatic links through it to anything, including finance. No auto links of any kind to $.

    On the other hand, my car is LoJacked, and I keep up the CarNet subscription. Came in handy last year when I was hit by a distracted driver at a busy intersection. Rather than following my lead to pull to the side, she took off on me.

    All I had to do was hit the red button, and that operator knows who I am, what my car is, and exactly where I am on the road. Allowed me to chase her down and follow in rush hour until she was stopped.

    So that worked out well. Similarly, in a significant accident, it would do so automatically.


  3. LOL What a bunch of hooey! Oh,good grief. How stupid do they think people are! They have already been coerced with glory stories about how wonderful all the CIA programs are and how it’s going to help them so much. DON’T fall for yet another one of their scams to mine your data. The general population seems to be made up of 99% morons and people that think government is going to help them.

  4. A Hackers delight—all sorts of “Inside Basbeball” information about people, their lives, homes, cars etc..let me guess, one of the questions will be “in what room are the guns you own located”?…none for me thanks, let others go first until its mandated, which you know one day,at the State Level, Lord King of Burgers will do to us all.

    Sounds too good, as in “like your Doctor keep your Doctor” kinds of half truths.

  5. WTF would we want all of our info like that on some storage server just waiting to be hacked.

    Of course they probably will want to know where our weapons are kept save them time when they come to confiscate them.

    Who the heck comes up with crap like this.

  6. But Little Eddie says it’s a good thing – not a bad thing.

    We must defer to his superior intellect on this matter.

    Illegitimi non carborundom, sayeth Little Eddie. 😄

  7. Never invite the government into your life.

    It’s like giving a vampire permission to cross a threshold.

  8. Dumbest ass thing I ever heard of, after James Condon, McHenry Township’s official ghost Road Commissioner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *