Douglas County renews Smart911 contract; service gives dispatch crucial info in emergencies

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A service that gives Douglas County first responders extra information to better help people in emergencies will be available for at least five more years under a renewed contract.

Smart911 is an online service where people can input personal information that could be life-saving.

Users can input photos, physical descriptions, blood types, allergies, medications, medical conditions, preferred medical providers and more, all connected with the phone numbers that could be used to call dispatch.

“It is only available to us when somebody dials 911 and only for a very limited period of time, so the caller’s information is secure … It’s not something that we can just pull up anytime,” Tony Foster, director of emergency communications, told the Douglas County Commission Wednesday.

Commissioners voted to renew a five-year contract with Rave Mobile Safety for $124,000. It runs through Jan. 31, 2029.

Sign up

To sign up for a Smart911 profile, visit and click “Sign Up.”

Foster also said people can include where a spare key is located to help emergency responders to get inside a home faster when needed. That information won’t be aired over the emergency radio, he said.

Users can also include information about vehicles and pets, emergency contact information and additional addresses in their Smart911 profiles.

“Pets are family, and we like to know that information so we can relay that to our fire department to be able to help them out,” Foster said.

The service also allows dispatch to text back and forth with someone who texts 911.

Smart911 profiles travel with phone numbers, so if there is an emergency outside of Douglas County, first responders who are plugged into the system will be able to access those profiles, too.

The item was on the commission’s consent agenda — a list of items that are considered routine, and that commissioners generally approve with one vote — but Commission Chair Karen Willey asked to discuss it during the meeting, just to help raise public awareness.

To sign up for a Smart911 profile, visit and click “Sign Up.”

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Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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