City launches 'Smart 911' to provide critical info to first responders

How 'Smart911' helps
Published: Jul. 11, 2018 at 6:39 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2018 at 4:26 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati city leaders announced the launch of new technology to provide critical information to first responders when calls are made from cell phones and landlines.

The move comes three months after the death of Kyle Plush, 16.

The teen suffocated inside his minivan in a parking lot at Seven Hills School in Madisonville April 10 despite twice calling Cincinnati's 911 center for help.

He died from "asphyxiation due to chest compression" after becoming pinned by a folding seat in a 2004 Honda Odyssey, according to the Hamilton County Coroner's Office.

Smart911 will allow emergency information to be automatically displayed to the operator when a call is made to 911. Detailed information can be provided such as family members, photos, medical notes, pets, car make and model, and emergency contacts.

Plush family: Current 911 system 'must be changed'

"We want to know what went wrong on April 10 when Kyle placed two calls to 9-1-1 and provided the Center all the information needed to allow first responders to locate him and save his life.  The system failed Kyle on that day and we will continue to do all we can to make sure that does not happen to other families," the Plush family said in a statement.

"We support the City of Cincinnati moving forward with Smart911, an enhanced emergency database that allows all of us to add valuable lifesaving information to our cellphone profiles. Smart 911 is a positive step forward and will add an additional layer of safety for the 911 caller regardless of the system used."

During a news conference on Thursday, his mother, Jill Plush said this system could have saved his life.

"Even during the greatest challenge of his life, when he knew he was dying, when most people are not able to think clearly. He used his creative mind... to use voice activated Siri to call 911 for help. Smart 911 could've helped save Kyle's life," she said.

Law and Public Safety Committee Vice Chair Amy Murray believes this technology is critical for first responders.

"Having seen firsthand what call takers at the 911 ECC see on their screens, SMART911 is going to be a game-changer for them," she said in a release about the launch. "This is going to give our first responders information to get help faster. Everyone should sign up today for this free service."

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