FRAMINGHAM, Mass., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- April is National Autism Awareness Month, dedicated to recognizing and educating the public about a brain disorder which experts estimate affects 1 out of 88 children in the U.S. Autism typically impacts a person's ability to form relationships with others, communicate and respond appropriately to the external world. In light of National Autism Awareness Month, the community is being encouraged to take advantage of Smart911, a national public safety service that can increase responder effectiveness during an emergency situation and bring greater peace-of-mind to the families of those with autism.
Smart911 allows citizens to create a free online Safety Profile containing vital details about their household that they want 9-1-1 to have during an emergency. Once created, when a citizen places an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to Smart911 supported public safety answering points (PSAPs). This gives emergency teams a better understanding of the situation and the ability to respond to the right location with the right personnel and right equipment.
Wandering or elopement is common among those affected by autism and a source of concern for their families. Nancy O'Brien, an Illinois resident and mother to James, a boy with autism, experienced this when her son wandered from home on a Saturday morning.
"Two hours and fourteen minutes. The longest two hours of our lives," she stated after James was found safely. She later elaborated on the benefit Smart911 could offer by saying, "I understand and support the need to provide information on my family to 9-1-1 and response teams. When my son James wandered from home a few years ago, I experienced firsthand a situation in which this type of information was needed."
Providing information to 9-1-1 about an individual can help responders more effectively handle an emergency. With a Smart911 Safety Profile, police gain instant access to details including how to best-approach someone with autism, as well as photos which can be immediately sent to responders "in the field" in seconds to expedite search efforts. Emergency medical services will be aware of preexisting medical conditions, allergies and disabilities to facilitate precise treatment. Fire crews know not only how many residents live at a home, but locations of bedrooms, and those with special needs.
Luz of Nashville, TN, said that she created her Smart911 Safety Profile simply because "I have a child with autism with speech impairment. This is a wonderful tool."
Smart911 is offered by Rave Mobile Safety, the trusted software partner for campus and public safety. Introduced nearly three years ago, Smart911 has grown rapidly and is now available in 29 states and more than 350 municipalities. Because it is a national system, once a Safety Profile has been created, it can be delivered with an emergency call in any area of the country if the local 9-1-1 PSAP is supported by Smart911.
"Smart 911 has proven very effective in aiding those with special needs," said Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. "We urge members of the autism community to create a Smart911 Safety Profile for their family. By taking just a few minutes to do so, those with autism can have a new level of protection in emergency situations and families gain much greater peace-of-mind."
About Rave Mobile Safety
Rave Mobile Safety is the most trusted software partner for campus and public safety. Used by leading institutes of higher education and state and local agencies, the award-winning portfolio of Rave SafeCampus, Rave Alert, Rave Guardian, Eyewitness, Smart911 and SmartPrepare enables millions to feel safe, secure and connected. Rave Mobile Safety is headquartered in Framingham, MA. For more information, please visit http://www.ravemobilesafety.com.
Davies Murphy Group
Public Relations for Rave Mobile Safety
SOURCE Rave Mobile Safety