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Rye Considers Smart 911 System

If the city implements the Smart 911 system, first responders in Rye will have more information when they answer an emergency call.
If the city implements the Smart 911 system, first responders in Rye will have more information when they answer an emergency call. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue, file

RYE, N.Y. -- The city of Rye is considering implementing two new technologies that would aid first responders in the event of an emergency or a Sandy-like disaster.

After Hurricane Sandy hit, the city set up the Rye Community Emergency Response Team, a group dedicated to implementing a citizen-preparedness plan and aiding the city's emergency officials. The group has recommended that the City Council sign the city up for Smart 911 and Smart Prepare, two systems offered by Rave Mobile Safety to provide more information to first responders in the event of an emergency.

"When you call 911 today, for example, they typically know your phone number and a rough location, depending on whether or not you're calling from a landline or a cell phone," said Adam Eisenman, the regional sales director for Rave Mobile Security. Smart 911 is a free service for residents that allows them to set up a profile that provides additional information to the 911 dispatcher, such as medical conditions, contact information, a photo of yourself, emergency contacts, spare key locations or alarm codes, and other information that may be useful to first responders.

Though the system is not available in Rye, it is offered in many communities around the country. A person's profile travels with them, so if a Rye resident were to travel to a place where the service is offered and calls 911, their information would be available to responders.

"I'll say from experience I signed my mother up, it took all of ten minutes. I was amazed it asked what kind of car she drives, license plate number, mobile phones, all that kind of stuff," said Matt Fahey, a member of the Rye Community Emergency Response Team.

Smart Prepare is a service for city officials to use in the event of a hurricane, blizzard, power outage or similar situation. Citizens set up profiles and when officials are preparing for an emergency situation, they can search through the database to know who in the city is medically dependent on electricity or has no access to transportation.

The City Council will be considering implementing the two systems during the upcoming budget cycle.

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