Oak Lawn, after years of complaints, has dumped Everbridge as its emergency communication alert system in favor of another company.
The Oak Lawn Regional Emergency Communications office announced that Smart911 is now available to all residents of Oak Lawn and the other communities served by its 9-1-1 Dispatch center.
In order to receive emergency alerts, residents will have to register with Smart911 and provide certain information that allows dispatchers to act during an emergency. By registering, residents will be able to receive alerts for emergencies in their area.
That last point about “emergencies in their area” is one of the complaints residents have had with Everbridge, arguing that knowledge about bank robbers or men with guns in one part of Oak Lawn affects all the residents and not just a few people in a select area.
According to the village, the information provided online enables first responders to know exactly where they are going and who they are looking for in a house fire or at the scene of a vehicle accident. The Village’s statement said that those important details will help them respond faster and more efficiently. Left unsaid is the fact that homeowners never know who may be at their home visiting during a fire or other emergency. Similarly, people outside the household often ride in residents’ cars.
Nonetheless, the profile entered into the registration will display for the dispatcher allowing them to send the correct response team to the correct location. “The Safety Profile travels with the individual and the additional information provided allows other 9-1-1 dispatch centers that support Smart911 to obtain valuable information for their first responders”, said Diana Tousinant, Director of the Oak Lawn Regional Emergency Communications.
Smart911 allows residents to link home and work addresses to mobile phones, which can be provided to emergency personnel. Additional information such as the number and type of pets in the home can also be listed in the profile. Residents’ emergency contacts can also be provided to the system.
Smart911 is available in 40 states and 1,500 municipalities, according to the Village of Oak Lawn. The village is encouraging residents to create their “Safety Profile” online at www.smart911.com. All information is optional according to the village.
The village claims that Smart911 is private and secure and will only be used for emergency responses. Over two years ago, residents complained when they received politically deceptive email to accounts set up specifically for Everbridge. The village “investigated” and could not find anyone responsible for using said emails.