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Trumbull County 911 director explains how special-needs registry can save lives

The special-needs registry has been in Trumbull County for almost two years

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) - The Trumbull County 911 Center is looking to expand its special-needs registry.

It allows first responders to have prior knowledge of people who require special attention before arriving on the scene of an emergency.

In situations where seconds matter, the more information available to first responders before they head out, the more likely they able to save a life.

"As far as I know, this has been a very unique program," said Trumbull County 911 Director Ernest Cook.

The special-needs registry has been around in Trumbull County for almost two years.

It allows loved ones or people living with special needs like autism, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, PTSD or a mobile disability that may require a wheelchair to register that information with the 911 center.

"There's really no parameter, we've kind of opened it up, and if the family feels that it's important enough to put it in the registry, we agree with them," Cook said.

Once the information is entered into the dispatch system's database, if someone calls 911, the program will notify dispatchers of any special needs or circumstances. That information will then be relayed to the police, firemen or any other emergency personnel.

"They could know ahead of time that a person has a special need of some sort that could save a life," said Registry Coordinator Mauro DiVieste.

DiVieste knows the importance of providing first responders with this information.

"My own son, I have personal experience with autism. He's severely developmentally delayed and autistic. He was the first one I actually put on this program," he said.

With roughly 200,000 people in the county, DiVieste said they know there are more people than those who have already registered who could benefit from this program.

"A program takes time to build, more often than not, so that's what we're doing here. It also involves a lot of trust," DiVieste said.

If you or someone you know would like to register for the program, fill out this special form and either mail it to Trumbull County 911 or email it to erdivies@co.trumbull.oh.us.

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