New Program Helps First Responders When Seconds Matter
Seconds matter during an emergency. First responders answer the calls of the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now there is a better way to help those in need early on.
South Sound 911’s new Emergency Health Profile system provides dispatchers with potentially life-saving information the moment a 911 call arrives. When individuals with an Emergency Health Profile call 911, dispatchers may quickly communicate medical conditions, allergies, and other relevant information to first responders.
To sign up, individuals may create a profile on the South Sound 911 website or may authorize Medical ID on Apple iOS devices with the Health app installed.
Having this information available early on allows first responders to more decisively respond to medical emergencies and save lives.
Full release from South Sound 911 (Dec. 15, 2021)
Tell us before you need us: Free profile automatically shares crucial information for critical calls
By sharing more information on-screen than a caller can articulate in a phone call or text message, police, fire and EMS responders are empowered to make more informed decisions.
“We want as much information as we can get when we respond to any emergency,” Pierce County Sheriff Sergeant Darren Moss Jr said. “Knowing that the caller is speech-impaired or wheelchair-bound, uses oxygen, or that an autistic child lives at the home we’re going to, informs and improves our response and how we approach the situation. Having emergency contacts attached to home phones or kids’ cell phones is also very important when we need to notify family members about emergencies as well.”
“Programs like the Emergency Health Profile can be an essential element of information-gathering for responding East Pierce Fire & Rescue personnel,” Deputy Chief Bill Mack said. “Knowing that a person is non-ambulatory, has pre-existing behavioral health needs, or even emergency contact information, can allow our paramedics and fire personnel to better care for the 911 caller.”
Additionally, callers in a heightened emotional state during an emergency may be unable to provide important details to 911, or may not think about details which could better inform responders.
“Correctly providing information during a crisis is stressful, especially for someone directly involved,” Tacoma Police Department PIO Wendy Haddow said. “With an Emergency Health Profile you are able to ensure 911 has the information first responders need, even if you aren’t able to give it.”
Registering for an Emergency Health Profile is free and completing the online form is simple. Learn more at southsound911.org/profile or register now at emergencyprofile.org. Apple iPhone users can also opt-in to share information with 911 by setting up their Medical ID via the Health app or by creating an Emergency Health Profile.
How much information supplied in the Emergency Health Profile is up to the discretion of the account holder and that person is responsible for ensuring the information is current. The shared information is not used for any purpose other than the delivery of emergency services.
In Pierce County, calls answered by South Sound 911 and Tacoma Fire Communications may view Emergency Health Profile information. In order for the profile to be viewed, the 911 call must come from the registered phone number, and the profile is only available to call takers and dispatchers during an active 911 call or text-to-911.
User-provided data is collected and maintained by the Emergency Health Profile Association, a Delaware LLC established by RapidSOS. RapidSOS is an emergency response data platform that securely links life-saving data from over 350 million connected devices and platforms to emergency services and first responders. South Sound 911 began using RapidSOS in 2019 for better call location data.