New 'Next Generation' Dispatch Feature Improves 911 Response

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

Marianna- The new Smart 911 feature allows Jackson County residents to upload personal information, like medical conditions, allergies and medications into a database. Jackson County officials said the feature would help responders be proactive, rather than reactive.

"It's about passing information along ahead of time, instead of trying to get it as you're trying to administer aid to this person and get them the assistance they need" explained Jackson County Sheriff, Lou Roberts. "And minutes- seconds can sometimes make a big difference in a person's ability to survive an event."

The new 911 operating system also has updated maps. Roberts told us the maps, in addition to Smart 911, would help increase response time. "It's going to give those responding officers or that ambulance a big opportunity to see before they get there what there getting into."

Jackson County was able to buy the $4000 system and upgrades, such as Smart 911, with the help of state funding.

"It was funded through Florida's rural county grant funding and we were fortunate to get all of the funding we requested" Jackson County 911 Coordinator, Lavon Pope explained.

Roberts said the new features made the most of the latest internet technologies available. "We're glad to have it in Jackson County" he said. "I mean, you would think it would be something you'd have in your larger metropolitan cities or California."

But Pope told us, residents had to participate in the program to receive the full benefits of Smart 911. "Go online and take advantage of it. It's for the citizens, it's for their safety" she advised.

"We think it's going to be a tremendous asset for the citizens of Jackson County" Roberts said.

Pope added that the program was simple to sign up for and safe to use thanks to heavy privacy protection. To register, visit

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