Being involved in an emergency situation is tough on anyone. Your adrenaline is rushing, your emotions are on high alert, and depending on the situation and its severity, you may temporarily lose any awareness of where you are or what happened. When I was t-boned by a drunk driver on my way to work one morning almost four years ago, the impact spun my truck about 90 degrees in a different direction than the one I was facing before the collision. It took me a minute or so to get my bearings straight and process what had happened and where I was. Now imagine something like that happening to an individual with sensory, movement, or communication challenges. First responders arriving on the scene would have to assist them differently than those who responded to my accident assisted me. A new registry with the Evansville Police Department will help responders prepare by giving them advanced notice that someone with those challenges has been involved in an emergency situation.

Evansville Police Department Launches 'Keep Me Safe Registry'

The Department has teamed with Optimal Rhythms, a Newburgh-based agency that works with individuals who have been diagnosed with Autism, to create the "Keep Me Safe Registry."

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The registry is designed to "ensure first responders have the best information available to help keep [those with special needs] safe in the event of an emergency or crisis. Registration is free and completely voluntary.

How the Keep Me Safe Registry Works

Visit the Optimal Rhythms website and click the "JOIN REGISTRY" button about midway down the page, just under the photo of members of the Evansville Police Department with an Optimal Rhythms advocate. This will pop up an e-mail form where you'll provide the following information about the individual you're wanting to add:

  • Name, address, age, date of birth, current height/weight of the vulnerable person
  • License plate numbers and descriptions of vehicles in which the person often rides
  • Headshot of the vulnerable person
  • Name and contact information for the Emergency Contact(s) for the vulnerable person
  • Name and contact information for the Individual's doctor

Once you've submitted the form, here's what happens according to Optimal Rhythms:

The information shared in the registry will then be provided to local dispatch for safe-keeping until it is needed. When a home or vehicle that is listed on the registry receives a 911 call or is involved in an accident or a traffic stop, First Responders are being trained to look for the KEEP ME SAFE Decal and indicate to dispatch if the home or car is registered. Dispatch will then provide valuable information to the First Responders on the call to ensure that they are best equipped to respond to the needs of the registered vulnerable person.

In addition to your information being on file, you'll receive a decal similar to the one below for each vehicle and home you listed when you registered. This will further assist the responders who arrive on the scene to help.

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Visit the Optimal Rhythms website for more information on the Keep Me Safe Registry, the mission of Optimal Rhythms, and to make a donation to help support that mission.

[Sources: Evansville Police Department on Facebook / Optimal Rhythms]

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