Wilson County 911 invests in new technology, asks families to do their part

Smart 911
Posted at 6:20 PM, Feb 18, 2022

WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — In an emergency, seconds matter. That's why Wilson County is investing in new technology to help first responders help you. It's called Smart 911.

Bridgett Clark is the Communications Supervisor at Wilson County 911. She's been on the receiving end of emergency calls for 13 years and knows what’s at stake.

“For someone calling 911, for them to dial those 3 numbers -- that's one of the worst days of their life.”

She says a dispatcher’s job is to “calm them down and get all the information they need.” That will now be easier when someone fills out a Smart 911 profile.

“Filling out a profile for the family not only lets us see where you are and where you live, but any medical information, anything that could help us get a better response to you.”

You can sign up for Smart 911 online or by downloading the app. You can fill out as much information or as little as you want. Clark says, at first, she was worried about privacy issues, but after researching the service, those concerns were allayed.

“I cannot go into the system and type in your number - it doesn't work that way,” explains Clark. Dispatchers will only have access to your information when the registered phone numbers calls 911.

Clark says the information can be very beneficial when it comes to missing children or dealing with children with disabilities. Parents can enter information about “things they may like, things they may not like, things we can do or avoid.” All of that information can be relayed quickly to first responders.

You can also upload pictures to your profile, pet information, property gate codes and private information you may not be able to verbally communicate with a dispatcher during an emergency.

“If you're in a domestic violence situation then you're able to type in my spouse or significant others is abusive. That lets us know if this is an open line this is a very serious situation.”

But of the 140,000 people in Wilson County, just about 3,000 have signed up for Smart 911. Dispatchers say it’s one more tool that could make all the difference in an emergency.