Starting Monday, Kern will be the first county in the country to widely implement the Smart911 system, which helps 911 calls be more effective at saving lives.

“When a first responder goes out to a situation, they don’t know what they’re in for. That in and of itself makes for a very dangerous situation,” said Roger Perez, the public information officer at Kern Behavioral Health & Recovery Services.

Smart911 allows you to create an online profile with background information on you and your loved ones–so that if you ever call 911, first responders will be as prepared as possible to help when they enter your home.

“The more that you give in information, the better it’s going to go, regardless of the situation–doesn’t matter the situation,” Perez said.

On your profile, you can list all health conditions in your family, including mental health issues or allergies. You can detail special medication EMTs should be aware of, and you can even include pictures of your family.

“It’s ideal for everybody–obviously when there’s a big issue in the home. But also whether it be mental illness, whether it be physical illness, whether it be ‘my father has dementia’ or he’s bedridden,” Perez said. “Even, ‘I’m a single woman and I’m home alone.’”

Smart911 isn’t a new program, but the California Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) just granted Kern County about $1 million to fully fund its implementation. “We would suggest everybody sign up for a profile. It’s free, it’s easy, and the more people that are in the system, the better the system works,” Perez said.

It’s a process that takes all of five minutes. Just use your phone or computer to create a custom profile at There are also 33 kiosks to sign up in person at Kern Behavioral Health centers around the county.