D.C.'s new 911 emergency system unveiled

(Photo: Joint Base Lewis McChord/flickr)

WASHINGTON (AP) - District of Columbia officials are unveiling a new 911 system for people calling in emergencies.

The Smart911 option, already in place elsewhere in many parts of the country, allows residents to create online profiles about themselves to help emergency officials in their response.

The profiles can include personal information, such as existing medical conditions, allergies or the number of pets in the home, that are automatically displayed to 911 operators only during emergency calls.

That way, emergency responders can be better prepared in arriving at a scene. Mayor Vincent Gray is scheduled to announce the free service Thursday afternoon at the Children's National Medical Center in northwest Washington.

He's also scheduled to participate in a demonstration.

The Smart911 system is being provided by the Office of Unified Communications.