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Mineral County offers emergency notification program

by MONTE TURNER
Mineral Independent | September 14, 2022 12:00 AM

“Here’s an example of the way this works,’ explained Tifani Amberson, lead dispatcher at the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office. “Remember the big forest fires of 2017 up Sunrise Creek and the Lozeau area? That big fire and a lot of places needed to evacuate. As long as you have a profile with us on Smart 911 (also known as Reverse 911), I would be able to send you an alert that says, ‘Pre-Evacuate Notice, or Must Evacuate Notice’ through your cellphone, text, landline or email. Or all four to cover all bases.

"When we had that incident in the West End with the suspect on the loose that was armed this spring? I would have been able to draw a geo-map on my screen and had an alert out to everyone in a 3-mile radius within seconds.”

This program is similar to the RapidSoS medical emergency response data platform MCSO launched in July as both are prefilled with Mineral County residents’ information.

"Take Control, Let Us Know" is a campaign the MCSO has launched to empower the community to act and provide valuable and accurate data that increases the awareness of 911, first responders, law enforcement and emergency management. When an individual calls 911, their Smart911 Safety Profile is automatically displayed, allowing the public safety agencies to send emergency response teams to the right location with enhanced data.

Individuals can create a Smart911 Safety Profile for their household at www.smart911.com or on the Smart911 App.

“As long as residents have the Smart911 app and their location is on when they are traveling, they will get real time alerts from the county or jurisdiction that they are currently in. Which is an amazing tool especially for long road trips around the holidays. The more information people give me, the better prepared we are,“ she expressed.

The RapidSos, which is primary medical information, registration is at a different site, www.emergencyprofile.org.

“Rapid SOS is for cell phones only,” Amberson said.

Both the RapidSoS and Smart911 Safety Profiles are free and Amberson encourages anyone with questions or in need of assistance on registering to contact her at tamberson@co.mineral.mt.us or (406) 822-3555.

It’s important to note that both programs came with the state-of-the-art 911 overhaul that was recently installed in the dispatch center being covered completely by Covid money, shared Sheriff Mike Toth.

“Not a nickel of Mineral County residential property taxes went into paying for this new operating system,” he said.

Covid money also covered the entire cost of new service weapons for each deputy, new Tasers and laptops in every patrol vehicle and body cameras and dash cams.

Sheriff Toth shared a recent incident where the new camera’s working together in the new coordinated system saved an expensive lawsuit for the county and the possible position of a deputy.

“A woman who had been ticketed by one of our deputies the night before reported to justice court that he was behaving inappropriately. Justice court took it to the county attorney who then notified me, where I said, ‘Hey wait a second, let’s look at the video footage before we go any further,’ which did the trick,” Toth said.

Toth had the person from justice court who took the original complaint view the video and he sent a copy to the county attorney. All agreed the deputy was professional, polite and respectful.

“I also told the county attorney and the justice court person if they hear back from the person that made the complaint, I am more than willing to let her watch the video.”

Having that proof from the two cameras closed the case.

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