A new service will add information such as medical conditions, contact names and phone numbers to the data base for emergency dispatchers.

A new service will add information such as medical conditions, contact names and phone numbers to the data base for emergency dispatchers.

Melinda Elliott, operations manager for the Metropolitan Emergency Communications Association said during a meeting of the MECA Board Tuesday that Arkansas will be the first state in the nation to fully implement Smart 9-1-1.

Elliott said city and county residents will be able to add information such as medications they are taking, whether they are in a wheelchair and even if they have pets into the agency’s data base. The information will then come up on a dispatcher’s screen if the person calls 9-1-1.

“The state is paying for this so it’s not going to cost us anything,” Elliott said. “They’re presently working on it so I can’t tell you the date it is going to be implemented.”

Asked by a member of the board, Elliott said the system will work with either land line phones or cell phones.

On another subject, Elliott and Karen Quarles, director of the county Office of Emergency Management, said that an upgrade of the AT&T software used by MECA is scheduled for later this year.

That upgrade is being paid for mostly by funds awarded to MECA from the state Emergency Telephone Services Board.

Elliott said that while the 2011 Arkansas General Assembly adopted legislation mandating certain training requirements for emergency dispatchers statewide, current training conducted by MECA “not only meets those standards, we go above them.”

A financial report for the first five months of this year showed that MECA has received $704,341.56 in revenue and spent $613,855.69, most of that for salaries and benefits.

The agency’s total 2012 budget is $1,861,556, leaving a balance of just under $1.25 million for the remaining seven months of the year.

MECA is funded by user agencies such as the Pine Bluff Police Department, Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, and others, and with money collected on both cell and land line telephones.

The next meeting of the MECA board is tentatively set for Aug. 21 at 9 a.m.