Carroll County 911 personnel honored for helping domestic violence victims
Dispatchers with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) have been recognized for outstanding efforts to aid citizens in need using Smart911, the county’s enhanced 911 service.
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, Sheriff Randy Mayfield, Chief Deputy Maj. George Frye and County Judge Sam Barr presented several members of Carroll County Central Dispatch with the Rave SmartSave Award, designed to honor call-takers and emergency responders for their quick thinking and ability to utilize Smart911 to improve the outcome of emergency situations.
JP French, director of strategic accounts for Rave Mobile Safety, which designed Smart911, said the program provides dispatchers with improved data and communications on each call. The platform functions allow 911 dispatchers to text any mobile phone that calls in during events where callers are unable to speak or do not feel safe to speak, French said. He said it also has a facility component that enables dispatchers to better locate callers.
A press release from CCSO states that a call came into central dispatch on Sept. 10 and was immediately disconnected. Dispatcher Clyde Thomas, Cpl. Casey Reddick, Ryan Hand and Nate McDaniel then reached out to the caller through text message, the release says. The caller responded that there was domestic violence in progress, according to the release, and provided the names of all persons involved. The dispatch team then sent help, and the situation was resolved with one arrest, the release states.
On Tuesday, Dec. 20, central dispatch received a call from a familiar number, which had dialed in several times over the previous month, the release says. Cpl. Taneia Snee, Lt. Dana Bailey, dispatcher Felicity Berner and other team members were able to talk to the subject during the call and gain information about the situation, it says. The release states that the caller was a 17-year-old who was certain his young cousins were being abused by their parents, including being locked up in a bedroom and bot being allowed food or access to the bathroom. By using Smart911 facility information, operators were able to take the descriptions of locations provided by the 17-year-old, locate the exact apartment building and send help, the release says.
“This is a great example of how Smart911 delivers more tools to our operators, which helps us get the right help to residents experiencing an emergency,” Mayfield said. “Our dispatchers’ persistent and skilled use of Smart911 made a difference in providing help in these situations.”
French said that Smart911 is a national service available to all residents and travelers in Arkansas. It provides the option to create a free safety profile for one’s household, he said, including any information an individual would want 911 and first responders to have in the event of an emergency. He said the profile will immediately display on a 911 dispatcher’s screen should the individual make an emergency call.
“You can visit Smart911.com to create a safety profile for yourself and your family members,” French said. “You can list all of your family members and any crucial information, such as allergies and any medications being taken.”
The only time the information is accessible, he said, is when someone from that safety profile makes an emergency call. It includes current photos of the family members, he said, which are vital in cases of missing persons.
“When kids go missing and parents call 911, they ask for a current picture of the child,” French said. “If you have a safety profile set up, then that photo comes up as soon as you call, and dispatchers can right click and immediately disseminate that photo to help locate the child.”
He said the goal of Smart911 is to expedite response time and send the right response to an emergency situation at the right time.
“For example, if a domestic violence victim calls 911 and the primary aggressor hangs up the phone, he or she can often still text,” French said. “If dispatch calls back and doesn’t get an answer, they can text the caller and find out if someone is there with them, if they need medical assistance and if the assailant has weapons in the home.”
He continued, “Then, officers can determine if they should send multiple responders instead of sending one officer. If they find out there is a weapon in the home, they can prepare accordingly, so it’s protecting our officers as well as our citizens.”
French said Rave Mobile Safety wanted to recognize the Carroll County Central Dispatch team for utilizing the tools that Smart911 offers to help citizens in emergency situations.
“We wanted to recognize them for a job well done,” he said. “Look at the difference they’re making and the time they’re saving.”
Mayfield said Smart911 is provided to Arkansas residents by the state.
He said residents are encouraged to create a free safety profile at Smart911.com. All information is kept private and secure, French said, and only becomes available to emergency responders when 911 is dialed.