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Plush family, city of Cincinnati partner to promote new 911 technology

Kyle Plush suffocated inside his minivan in April
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Posted at 12:15 PM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 12:17:26-04

CINCINNATI -- The family of Kyle Plush will join city of Cincinnati officials in launching the next stage of a campaign to raise awareness about new 911 technology.

The system, Smart911, is designed to give first responders critical information to find victims and help them faster during emergencies. Cincinnati City Council member Amy Murray said she believes Smart911 can save lives.

“We are working to get this information out to businesses, schools, and civic associations as well. Anyone interested can contact my office to get information to share with your group,” Murray said in a written statement.

Plush, 16, suffocated inside his minivan outside the Seven Hills School on April 10 despite making two calls to 911. Cincinnati police officers sent to the school never found him; instead, his father Ron discovered his lifeless body hours later.

The Plush family partnered with the city to create public service announcements encouraging residents to sign up for the free service, according to a city of Cincinnati news release. The PSAs will be debuted Tuesday.

Plush’s parents, Ron and Jill, his sister, Alli and his friend, Matt, are featured in the videos. New videos will be rolled out every two weeks and feature Police Chief Eliot Isaac and Fire Chief Roy Winston as well.

Smart911 is being used at the Emergency Communications Center. When the city launched the system in July, Murray encouraged everyone in the Tri-State to sign up because Smart911 is a nationwide system. Hamilton County joined three months ago.

 

Once people register with the Smart911 system, their emergency information is automatically displayed to the operator when a call is made to 911.

“Having seen firsthand what call takers at the 911 ECC see on their screens, Smart911 is essential to giving our first responders information to get help faster,” Murray said.

RELATED: Seeking solutions to 911 issues, councilwoman Amy Murray shadows call-takers

The Smart911 system can be invaluable for a family whose child has autism, for example, when lights and sirens might be upsetting. People who have special needs are a target audience for the service.

The system works with landlines and cell phones. It takes minutes to create your own private Safety Profile:

  • Go to Smart911.com.
  • Create your profile. Enter as much information as you wish. First responders want to know anything about you that could be helpful if you call 911. That could include family members, photos, medical notes, pets, car make and model, and emergency contacts.

The Plush family and city will launch the PSA campaign at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Two firms are leading independent investigations into how police and the city’s 911 center failed Plush:

  • 21st Century Policing is focusing on the police department’s response, policies and procedures.
  • Mission Critical Partners will focus on the 911 center.

The results of both investigations will not be released until Nov. 15, according to a Plush family statement issued in early October. Read part of the Plush family’s statement below:

“While this 45-day delay is disappointing, we are fully supportive of a thorough investigation that considers all factors that may have contributed to the loss of our son. Our fervent wish is for no family to ever have an experience similar to ours. We are hopeful these investigations will bring insights that will lead to recommendations around safer policies and practices that quickly connect emergency responders to those in need.

Once we have had the opportunity to review and digest the results of these reports, we will provide our perspective based on all we have learned about the 911 systems in our region and beyond.”