:: Vallejo Times Herald | Police, fire crews ready for special-needs callers ::

Police, fire crews ready for special-needs callers

By ROBERT MCCOCKRAN/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 04/04/2007

The Vallejo police and fire departments are developing a database of people who are hearing or visually impaired, don’t speak English, confined to bed or have other special needs, hoping to serve those residents more effectively.
The voluntary registry program was inspired by a rescue of a hearing-impaired child at 146 Calhoun St. on Oct. 13, said Bill Tweedy, the public information officer for the fire department.

On the dispatch sheet was information that the child lived in the home where the fire was reported, Tweedy said. When Engine 23 arrived, firefighters saw flames on the first floor and a child’s arm waving listlessly from a small second-story window.

Aware that the child was unable to hear the sirens, or follow spoken direction, Capt. Mike Lionel called for a ladder to the window. Before the emergency crew even began the fire attack, Lionel climbed to the window, reached in and pulled the boy from the smoke-filled room, Tweedy said.

Every time the department gets a call, there’s a printout of the address and cross streets and, on the bottom, any special information, he said.

The police get the same information on their patrol car screens, Tweedy said.

The Emergency Services Special Needs Database orm that Capt. Ann Cavanaugh created is a joint venture between the fire and police departments to gather the information to assist first responders in identifying people with special needs.
“Both our logos are on it and it can be (picked up and) dropped at either place,” Tweedy said.

The Vallejo Fire Department is housed at 970 Nimitz Ave. The Vallejo Police Department headquarters are at 111 Amador St.

On the form are check boxes for special needs including such designations as: supplemental oxygen dependent, wheelchair dependent, non-ambulatory, confined to bed, developmentally disabled, chronic communicable disease, large stature, hard-of-hearing, deaf, sight-impaired, dementia, Alzheimer’s and non-English speaking. Continue

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