This article shares the sad details of the loss of a graduate student who was unable to be found after he called 9-1-1. This is a growing national problem with 9-1-1 centers across the U.S. and mentions Kyle’s tragedy and the aging 911 infrastructure. The KPATC Foundation is working hard to improve 911 centers, but we want to share information to keep your family safer in an emergency.
You can’t always expect first responders to be able to locate you if you call 9-1-1 from your cell phone. Technology is improving but it doesn’t work every time due to technical reasons. There are three things you should know to keep you and your family safer in an emergency:
1) Signup for Smart911 if it’s in your area or you travel to a location that has Smart911. It is an app that allows you to register your cell phone with your name, home address, work address, and emergency contacts to help first responders find you faster in an emergency. If Smart911 is not available in your area, contact your local authorities and find out if they have a similar type of app to share your information.
2) Know how to give a 911 call taker your exact location. On an iPhone, you can find your longitude and latitude by opening your Maps app, tap on the blue dot and swipe up from the bottom of the screen. For Android phones, open Maps app, tap anywhere on the map, a red pin will appear and longitude and latitude will be in the search box at the top.
3) Make sure your SIRI or Alexa function on your phone is set up. Kyle couldn’t reach his phone, but was able to make two 9-1-1 calls using SIRI. The SIRI function saved the life of a friend who had a stroke – he learned from Kyle how to make a call on his iPhone using SIRI when he couldn’t pick up or reach his phone.