Kalamazoo County Enhances 911 Services with Smart911

Public Safety Officials Encourage Residents to Sign Up For the Free Service That Provides Emergency Responders with More Information in the Event of an Emergency 

Public safety officials in Kalamazoo County announced today that Smart911 is now available to all individuals in Kalamazoo County.  Smart911 is a free service that allows individuals and families to sign up online to provide key information to 9-1-1 call takers during an emergency.

Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile at www.smart911.com for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and response teams to have in the event of an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information.

With Smart911, citizens can link both home and work addresses to mobile phones, which can be passed on to responders in the field for more a detailed, rapid response.  Additional information including pets in the home, vehicle details in the event of an accident, medical conditions and even emergency contacts can all be included in a Safety Profile.  All information is optional and the citizen has the ability to choose what details they would like to include. 

Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country. Once entered, your Smart911 profile travels with you and is available to all jurisdictions utilizing Smart911.

 Smart911 has been credited with positively impacting emergency outcomes including a missing child where the girl’s photo and physical description were immediately available to 9-1-1 and responders, as well as a heart attack victim where an address and medical notes allowed responders to be dispatched to his location quickly. 

Citizens are encouraged to create their Safety Profile with Smart911 today to have their information immediately available to 9-1-1 and to receive emergency notifications. Smart911 is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses, and is only made available to the 9-1-1 system in the event of an emergency call.

By authority of:  Sheriff Richard Fuller, Chief Nick Armold, Chief Jeffrey Hadley and Chief Timothy Bourgeois

Leaf Collection begins October 30

The City of Kalamazoo's annual leaf collection program will begin on October 30 and run through December 8. During this time each household will have two pickups, one towards the beginning and one towards the end of the program. During this time, residents can place LEAVES ONLY in piles or in paper bags out on the curb for collection.

Please note that this program differs from the brush and April Spring Cleanup in that only leaves are accepted (twigs, branches and other yard waste must be removed). Please avoid placing leaves near mailboxes, utility poles, landscaped areas, or over or directly adjacent to storm sewer drains. If you notice a blocked drain, please take a moment to clear any obstructions. This helps ensure the stormwater system operates efficiently and avoides unnecessary maintenance. 

Please keep bags weighing 50 lbs or less and do not use plastic bags,

Leaves must be placed out by 7:00 a.m. on the Monday of the week designated for your area. You can find a collection map and schedule here.  Please do not report missed collections until the crews have made a complete sweep through your section. This best utilizes crew’s time and efforts, and ensures the most productivity.

This program is dependent on the weather, and the schedule may vary depending on snow, when leaves fall, and other considerations. Snow and freezing weather can make it difficult or impossible to collect leaves and this can cause program delays. Depending on these factors, the second pickup may not occur for some or all areas. Should this happen, residents can store leaves until April when they can be collected during the April Spring Clean Up. Leaves can also be taken to private drop off sites.

City Invites Applicants for Foundation for Excellence Board of Directors

 Applications are now being accepted for membership on the Foundation for Excellence (FFE) Board of Directors.  Community members that would like to apply are encouraged to complete the application form here. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m., November 1, 2017. The form is very brief and should take about ten minutes to complete.

Paper applications are also available at the Kalamazoo Public Library branch locations and in the City Manager’s Office on the second floor at City Hall. If you need assistance accessing a computer to complete the online form, one is available at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation located at 402 E. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49007.  Please call (269) 381-4416 in advance to schedule an appointment.

Application questions include contact information, employment sector, skills and experience, and demographic information. “It is our intention to foster a respectful board culture where every member contributes their unique voice and skills to the work ahead,” said City Manager Jim Ritsema.

The Foundation for Excellence is a unique innovation by the City of Kalamazoo and private donors to address systemic challenges to the prosperity of the city. The Foundation will provide $70.3 million to stabilize the city’s budget, lower its property tax rate, and for $10 million of aspirational community projects per year through 2019. During this period, a fundraising effort will be launched to create a fully endowed foundation that can sustain this funding in perpetuity.

Board responsibilities are addressed through policies, and in the bylaws and articles of incorporation (available at http://www.kalamazoocity.org/ffedocs) to ensure the integrity of the Foundation for the good of the public and its financial contributors. Members will govern the Board’s operations and make recommendations to the City Commission in order to provide funding each year for aspirational projects and Shared Prosperity initiatives that realize the community vision established in the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Strategic Vision and Master Plan. “Staff will be working very hard to ensure that board members do their homework on the Imagine Kalamazoo Strategic Vision in order to understand the Foundation’s specific alignment,” added Assistant City Manager Laura Lam. 

Being the FFE’s inaugural Board, members will be especially involved with the creation of policies, procedures and schedules, and coordinating with staff on project planning and selection, budgeting, and presentations. “This first board needs to be passionate about creating a lasting culture and institution,” said Mayor Bobby J. Hopewell.

The fifteen-member Board will have specific requirements of residency and affiliation. Two seats will be automatically filled by the City Manager and Mayor. The City Commission will nominate and appoint two additional City Commissioners to the Board at a public meeting. One seat will be filled by the Commission from any at-large resident of Kalamazoo. Three seats will be filled by representatives from any three of the City’s officially recognized neighborhoods. Finally, one seat will be filled by professionals from each of the following sectors: housing, healthcare, faith-based organizations, education, business/banking, arts community, and affinity organizations. Any combination of nine of the 15 seats must be filled by City residents.

It is the hope of City and FFE leadership to have an inaugural Board of Directors in place in time for orientation at the end of January, 2018. The new Board’s next meeting will convene at the end of January, 2018 and be open to the public.

The City Commission is expected to approve the final slate of nominations at its December 18, 2017 meeting.

 

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.

Contact

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 (269) 337-8047
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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