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Opelika Police, Fire Depts. launch special needs program

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 9:23 AM EDT
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OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - The Opelika Police and Fire Departments have launched a new special needs program.

Project S.A.F.E.R, which stands for Special Assistance For Emergency Response, is a voluntary program available to citizens who live, work, and attend school in the city of Opelika.

City leaders say the program focuses on providing information through a special needs registry which will allow first responders to better assist individuals with cognitive, developmental, or mental health disabilities in the event of an emergency.

“Our goal is to be able to provide the best care and response to all citizens in Opelika,” said Police Chief Shane Healey. “First responders never know how a situation will unfold, but having access to critical information like triggers, medications and communication techniques will allow dispatchers to quickly relay these special needs to first responders before they arrive on scene.”

Once enrolled, registrants will receive two window decals to be displayed at the front entrance of their residence and on their vehicle. The decal will alert first responders that someone has a degree of special need and should respond accordingly. The use of the decal is voluntary.

Information on registrants is kept confidential and will only be utilized during times of emergency. Individuals can enroll here.

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