Most people are afraid to call 911, even in an emergency, but Delano Police Department wants you to be ready for its new Smart 911 system.

Not aware of it? Don't worry. Just download the app and follow the instructions. Fill out the profile to help first-responders and officers who would be on the way with the most information possible.

  1. Download the app to your smart phone, register your phone number, email/user name and street address
  2. Allow "Smart 911" to access your location
  3. Create a four-digit PIN for your profile.

Once in your profile, you can provide as much information as you want. However, Delano Police Chief Robert Nevarez suggests you provide:

  • All the people in your household, including photographs
  • Phone numbers
  • Emergency contacts
  • Preferred providers (e.g. specific ambulance, hospital choice, etc.)
  • Vehicles at the property
  • Animals, including kind, breed, photos, etc.

You can also share profile data to CA-Kern County to help plan for major disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.

In your profile, you can include a basic description of yourself, such as height, weight, hair color, along with more specific medical conditions, said Michelle Hernandez, communications supervisor for Delano Police Department. That could include allergies, general medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, neurological conditions, prescription medications and even sensory impairments such as vision, hearing or speech.

Delano police was one of the first agencies in Kern County to begin using Smart 911. However, people have to have the app on their phone for it to be useful, and it has to always allow the app to access their location to be most effective, Hernandez said.

If you don't have a smart phone, you can use your computer to create a Smart 911 profile at https://smart911.com.

"The important thing is that you decide how much to include on your profile, as well as the others linked to your account," said Delano Police Chief Robert Nevarez.

"When you call 911, you are usually under stress, sick or injured. And sometimes our callers will give you the wrong address or can't remember their own phone number," Hernandez said. "So with Smart 911 you have already entered all that relevant information, so it makes it less stressful for the caller."

"Even the picture you uploaded pops up on our screen," says Hernandez, who still handles 911 calls. "We will have all the pet information, medical info and any special entrances at your home."

All that profile information also helps, Chief Nevarez said, if someone is dealing with an Alzheimer's patient who might be lost.

"Or someone who might have other special concerns or evacuation plans."

The 911 industry has been waiting 15 years for Smart 911, Hernandez said.

That information is only available to 911 call takers and first responders if you have an emergency. And that information is housed in a top-tier secure facility complete with 24/7 physical security, video surveillance and alarms. We utilize the same SSL certificate authority and encryption technologies used by leading financial institutions.

The Smart 911 system is cutting edge technology, Hernandez said.

Currently, about 45 million Americans are protected by the Smart 911 system. In one house fire in Michigan, having Smart 911 saved homeowner's life, because 11 minutes were saved by those responding to the blaze. Nearly all Smart 911 users would recommend it as an essential tool for personal safety.

Delano Police Department has had Smart 911 since July 2018, but because very few people know about it, Kern County is putting up billboards on how to use Smart 911, she said.

"We really need to publicize Smart 911 because it is a very good system," Nevarez said.

It took about eight months to get all the equipment, as well as the training on how to use it.

"We haven't had one Smart 911 call yet," Hernandez said, "because people don't know."

Kern County Fire Department went online last week, she said. And even, Bakersfield Police Department hasn't started using the program. But Kern County Sheriff's Department, and most other local law enforcement agencies have the technology installed.

"Right now, it's all about getting the word out as an organization," Hernandez said. "It's very frustrating for us when we can't find someone. We want to help. So we are very happy to offer Smart 911."

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