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Jasper County, Iowa, Deploys Smart911 Alert System

Eighty percent of calls made to 911 come from mobile phones but when 911 is dialed, dispatchers have very little information to help, only the phone number and a very general sense of the location.

Closeup of a phone screen showing the numbers "911."
(TNS) - At the direction of the state, Jasper County has transitioned to a new alert system. The free service can alert citizens in the event of an emergency or severe weather by voice phone, email or text along with many other new features.

"It changed because the county system that we use is actually owned by the state and they are the ones that changed," Jasper County Emergency Management Services County Coordinator Jim Sparks said. "The state has a new contract this year and there are some improved pieces as far as people being able to sign up for things."

Jasper County EMS did import all of the information it had from the White Pages into the system, but if a person's primary number is through a wireless carrier, they would need to resubmit to get the service.

According to Smart911, the new county alert service, 80 percent of calls made to 911 come from mobile phones but when 911 is dialed, dispatchers have very little information to help, only the phone number and a very general sense of the location. With Smart911, a safety profile can be made including any addresses, medical information, home information, descriptions of pets and vehicles and emergency contacts.

Smart911 is also a national service. The safety profile created travels with each person and is visible to any participating 911 center nationwide.

"We were initially concerned some people might not be bothered to sign up but that hasn't been the case," Sparks said. "Now, we think we will have just as many, if not more people signed up."

Sign up information:

To sign up visit www.jasperema-hls.org and click on the Jasper County Emergency Notification Sign Up button.

To receive text messages to a cell phone, the cell phone must have text messaging capabilities. Notifications are dependent upon external providers and receipt of notifications by the intended recipient cannot be guaranteed. Alerts sent from Jasper County may originate from the following codes: 226787, 67283, 78015, 81437 or 77295 for text messages, 641-841-1385 for voice notifications and JasperCountyIowaAlerts@getrave.com for email messages. Please be sure to save these in your phone and/or address book.

"We encourage everyone to go to the website and click on the website and it will take you right there," Sparks said.

For more information or to answer any questions, call Jasper County Emergency Management Services at 641-792-7555.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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