People often complete Personal Safety Profiles with the basic information they are prompted for, but there are many more essential details to include in a Personal Safety Profile that could further shorten response times and potentially save lives.
Personal Safety Profiles are the key element of the Smart911 service. They provide 9-1-1 call takers in Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) with critical information that helps them make faster and better decisions in order to shorten response times. The Smart911 service also better prepares first responders to deal with emergency situations on their arrival.
Personal Safety Profiles are proven to save lives - but they could save more. Often people only complete the fields they are prompted to complete and provide limited additional information in the “Special Notes” section of the profile. This section - and the photograph gallery - could be used to far greater effect to further shorten response times and potentially save lives.
Essential Details to Include in a Personal Safety Profile
Before discussing the essential details to include in a Personal Safety Profile - above what people are prompted to include - let´s just quickly refresh our minds about the purpose of a Personal Safety Profile. Personal Safety Profiles should provide 9-1-1 call takers with the information they need to accelerate response times and ensure the most appropriate actions are taken by first responders.
In order to accelerate response times as much as possible, it will help 9-1-1 call takers to have details relating to the location of the property (not just its address) and the best access points. It will help first responders take the most appropriate actions if they can plan search and rescue strategies in advance and have floor plans at their disposal. Therefore, Smart911 users should:
- Upload a map of their property´s location indicating the best access point. A photo of the property from both the front and above (i.e. a screenshot from Google Earth) are also essential details to include in a Personal Safety Profile.
- Upload floor plans of the property. The floor plans do not have to be architecturally exact. They simply have to give first responders an idea of where each room is located (particularly children´s bedrooms) and the best way to access them.
- Include in the property details information relating to utility shut-off points and sources of water. If you live in apartment block with locked access points, don´t forget to include the gate codes. These will only be seen by 9-1-1 call takers and remain secure.
Other essential details to include in a Personal Safety Profile are “non-diagnosable medical conditions”. It may seem strange that people would have non-diagnosable medical conditions, but these are generally responses to rare events that set off certain reactions. As the rare events cannot be replicated in a physician´s surgery, the conditions remain undiagnosed.
Examples of non-diagnosable medical conditions include reactions to being in a smoky environment or being in a “fight or flight” situation. Symptoms often include memory loss, the feeling that things around you are moving quicker or slower than normal, visual problems, audio problems or multiple sensory distortions. First responders need to know if you suffer any of these - even rarely.
Review Your Personal Safety Profile every Six Months
Under the terms of the Smart911 service, users must log into their Personal Safety Profiles at least once every six months in order to avoid their profiles being suspended and unavailable to 9-1-1 call takers. This is to prevent people moving houses, forgetting to change their profiles, and first responders being sent to the wrong address in an emergency.
If you have not logged into your Personal Safety Profile for more than six months, do not be alarmed. The profile is reactivated and available to 9-1-1 call takers as soon as you log in again and confirm the information in your profile is still accurate. Regardless of whether you have logged into your profile recently or not, it is a good idea to visit Smart911 today, review your profile and add any of the essential details to include in a Personal Safety Profile mentioned above you may have overlooked.