A Smart Resource

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If you heard that Vigo County had a Smart 911 system what would that mean to you?

After a teen died in Ohio over the summer, emergency response there has been pushing to implement the system.

One local woman saw that story and realized that Vigo County was already ahead of the game.

They’ve had smart 911 since 2014, but a lot of people forget about the services and it’s use.

It’s the option to give more information about your home, its residents and what first responders should know before assisting in an emergency.

A local woman found that this system was just what she needed for that sense of relief.

“They know his medications, his allergies, everything, when they show up,” Smart 911 Patty Cottom said.

For the past two years Patty Cottom has been caring for her husband van 24-7. Van has a degenerative brain disease PSP and if his wife needs to leave the house for a bit, Van’s guard dog, Nessie, won’t quite give the assistance he needs.

“I’m gone maybe 20 minutes to a half hour, what would happen if there was a fire?”

Now Patty knows she has extra back up.

After asking her local fire department House 7 how she can make responders aware that her husband is home during the time she’s away, Captain Bob Sivertson told her about Smart 911.

“The Smart 911 ‘course she wasn’t aware of it. And most of us aren’t aware of it even us who are firefighters …Sometimes they pass this information along to the public, but it’s a one time deal and some people forget about it,” Captain Sivertson said.

As it turns out, just a couple of weeks ago Patty had to call 911 to get van to the hospital. The info she entered on the smart system indicated to responders that her husband wouldn’t be easy to get out of bed.

“They knew he was 6 foot tall, how much he weighed, he was dead weight and couldn’t help him. I think that was the smoothest move from bed to stretcher,” Patty said.

On the website you can give as little or as much info as you’d like.

“Gives us a heads up on what might be there when we get there,” Captain Sivertson said.

With national news circling Smart 911 patty says more people in Vigo County should be using it. And Van agrees.

“You got a confidence there, that somebody’s going to show up,” he said.

It’s free to sign up for Smart 911, you just go to Smart 911.com. You can enter info for everyone living in your home and each time dispatch receives a call from a phone number listed, your address and any other information you gave will be attached to it.   

If you’d like to help, here’s a link to help the Cottoms buy a van https://www.gofundme.com/a-van-for-van

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