Dubuque Smart 911

December  06, 2013

      Residents of Dubuque and Dubuque County can now sign up for what officials call "a more informed emergency response system." The city and county are the first in Iowa to offer Smart 9-1-1.

      Emergency Communications Manager, Mark Murphy, says to participate, people create a "profile" with personal information that might be useful during an emergency. This could include the names of all the people living in a home, their pictures, the names of pets, medical histories, and information about physical disabilities.  And when someone dials 9-1-1, this information would come up automatically on the dispatcher's screen.

      "If families want to put pictures of their kids into the system, if they're missing, the responders on the way to the call could log in and see the picture too, so they know who they're looking for."

      He says smart 911 is voluntary, and free. 

      "All the information is kept in a secure computer elsewhere. And we have a link with our phone system so when we answer 911 here, it'll automatically search that vendor's computer and see if there's any information related to that phone number and bring it back to our screen."

      To sign up, and create a "safety profile," residents of Dubuque and Dubuque County should go to smart 911 dot com. The cost of the program is being paid by the sheriff's department and police department.