AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Mahoning County now has a new tool for 911 dispatchers that’s a proactive way to help people with special needs and can help everyone involved in emergency situations.
The Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office is implementing a special needs registry as a way to help dispatchers and first responders when responding to a person with special needs and bridge gaps in communication.
“Some might have a condition that prevents them from being able to describe what’s going on inside of them. Two police officers, first responders,” said Gina DeGenova with the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office.
The registry holds someone’s identification information and conditions and can also include special needs such as triggers like sensitivity to bright lights or loud noises.
“Any information that the caregiver who is registering that individual things would be helpful is also accepted,” said DeGenova.
The information is directly uploaded to the county’s 911 CAD system, so if a dispatcher gets a call from a person with special needs they’re automatically alerted and can better assess the type of response necessary.
“The more information and people we get into the program, the more opportunity we have to help,” said DeGenova.
People can register for the program by applying online at the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s website. They can also call their office to get a written application in Austintown.