BY STEVE DEYARMOND
Over 70% of emergency calls to 911 are made by cell phones. A new application called Smart911 is available to cell phone users that provides additional information to the 911 center. Several counties in West Michigan already are capable of receiving Smart911 information. Allegan County is projected to be capable of receiving Smart911 information in the first quarter of 2019. Smart911 is a cell phone application that permits users to provide information to 911 dispatchers that assists with your location, health condition information, medication information and other family member information when 911 is dialed.This application will also provide emergency alerts for weather or other threats in areas that are Smart911 areas. The cell phone application is free and can be downloaded from the internet. Only information that you provide is supplied to 911 dispatch upon calling 911. Please take the time to review the application and decide if it provides additional safety for you and your family members.
Lake ice can vary in thickness and always has risks for those entering upon it. Temperature, water flow, springs, snow cover, areas near inlets or outlets can have an effect on the thickness and safety of ice. Lake ice should be thought of as never completely safe, and precautions should betaken when going out on it. A minimum of 4” is required to support a person on ice. Understand that ice thickness varies and great caution should be used. Never venture out on the ice alone. Always have a plan in the event that you or someone else falls through the ice. Prepare yourself with ice awls, life vest, dry clothing/blankets, etc. Watch over young and small children when near lake ice and remind them of the dangers. Hypothermia can set in quickly should you fall through the ice and restrict your ability to get out. Always go with a friend.