Emergency system allows Otter Tail County residents to stay safe and informed – Perham Focus
PEREHAM — Advances in technology are allowing faster and better services, including emergency services, to people throughout Otter Tail County. Smart911, an emergency notification and information system, is available to people in the area for free. The service allows residents and visitors alike to stay informed and safe, and the local Elevate program — along with the county — will provide tutorials to the public explaining how to get started using it.
“It’s really a two-pronged system that Otter Tail County is sponsoring for all the residents and visitors of our community,” Otter Tail County Emergency Manager Patrick Waletzko said of Smart911. “It’s a completely free service.”
He continued, “There are two parts to this system: The first is countywide public safety emergency alerts as well as local emergency alerts that people can sign up for. The second part is safety profiles that individuals can go to to share information about themselves that “they want responders to know.” For emergency. If individuals need to call 911, the information they contribute to their profile will appear on the dispatcher screen and can be shared with emergency responders.”
When it comes to Smart911 notification systems, users can sign up for two different weather alerts at any relevant address they want to be notified about: Tornado Warnings and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.
Users can also subscribe to public alerts. “There may be something that a city or town would like individuals who have chosen this type of alert to know,” Walitzko explained. “It is not an urgent or emergency situation but there is still important information that people should know.”
Local public safety agencies can also use the system to send alerts specific to their community.
Beyond expanding access to emergency notifications, Waletzko said Smart911 has expanded the scope of care emergency responders can provide to patients. Thanks to the profile a Smart911 user fills out, responders will know medical conditions, emergency contacts, where people live and who is in the home. This way, those experiencing an emergency will not need to share information that responders already have.
“One of the other tools that plays a role in this as well is from an emergency planning perspective,” Valtesko said. “So let’s say, for example, someone indicates in their security profile that they rely on a powered medical device. I can do a county-level inquiry and see where those individuals are located from a planning perspective. So, as you’re looking at maybe if Power outages, you can then identify where we might need to prioritize restoring power because we know there are people in those places who rely on powered medical devices.”
Waletzko has seen other ways this system has positively impacted public safety. Previously, when someone went missing, they could submit a missing person inquiry using Smart911. This way, the community becomes immediately aware of them and is able to help find them.
“We’ve had great success where people have received those alerts, seen the person five to 10 minutes earlier and can directly contact law enforcement to pinpoint their exact location,” he said.
There are a few different ways people can receive alerts. If you download the Smart911 app, there are a number of benefits, including a location feature – which allows users to receive alerts relevant to their current location. People can also receive notifications via landlines, text messages, email, and more.
To get all these services provided through Smart911, all you have to do is register. It’s as simple as going online to Smart911.com and creating an account with a username and password. From there, you can select the types of alerts you want to receive. When you create your profile, you can then enter the information you want — from emergency contacts to medical information to your address to your phone number.
If you need additional assistance, you can call Otter Tail County Emergency Management at 218-998-8060, and they will guide you through the registration process.
However, many practical and personal training sessions will be provided by Waletzko in Perham and New York Mills through the Elevate program. In these classes, he will give attendees an overview of the system and its services and provide a step-by-step guide to the registration process while he is available to answer any pressing questions.
Each day of class will have three different time periods of the same class available for people to attend. The first Smart911 classes hosted by Elevate will be on Wednesday, November 8 at the New York Mills Public Library from 10-11am, 1-2pm and 5-6pm To register, go to elevateotc.events/smart911-nym .
The second day of classes will be in the Elevate Conference Room in Perham at 318 Sixth Avenue SW on Wednesday, November 22, from 10-11am, 1-2pm and 5-6pm To register, go to elevateotc.events/Smart911-Perham. For more information about Elevate, go to elevateotc.org.
“(Smart911) really gives us an opportunity to expand our services, improve what we do and be more effective and efficient in the services we provide to the public, our visitors, residents and subscribers to the system,” Faltzko concluded. “It’s really an opportunity again for (users) to be the recipients of information and services that will help them when they need it most.”
Elizabeth (she), 25, graduated with a BA in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always been passionate about telling stories about people and specializes in societal features, which she uses in her film Perham. -Content centered around.