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City of Bloomington Promotes Voluntary Special Needs Registry for First Responders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 15, 2016

For more information, please contact

Michael Shermis, Community & Family Resources Special Projects Coordinator, City of Bloomington, 812.349.3471

Katie Herron, Chair of Council for Community Accessibility, City of Bloomington, 812.333.2074

Barbara E. McKinney, Human Rights Attorney, City of Bloomington, 812.349.3429

City of Bloomington Promotes Special Needs Registry for First Responders

Bloomington, Ind. - The City of Bloomington and Monroe County are encouraging people with disabilities to sign up with the "Special Needs Registry," the community's voluntary emergency registration system. The Bloomington and Monroe County Special Needs Registry for First Responders allows first responders to easily access disability-specific information during emergency situations.

Residents who have disabilities may sign up any time. Information about visual, hearing, mobility impairments, developmental disabilities, or dementia can be useful to firefighters, dispatch, police, and emergency medical technicians in the event of an emergency.

"We want to keep everyone in Bloomington safe," said Mayor John Hamilton. "By signing up for the Special Needs Registry, our first responders can arrive prepared to help each person most appropriately. I hope everyone with a disability or who has friend or a loved one with a disability will take advantage of this potentially life saving program."

To be included in the registry, sign up at http://bloomington.in.gov/specialneedsdispatch

You may also print the registration form and mail it to Bloomington/Monroe County Special Needs Database, 220 E. 3rd Street, Bloomington, IN 47401.

"This registry is an extremely important step toward effective emergency preparedness for individuals with disabilities in Monroe County," said Katie Herron, Chair of the City of Bloomington Council for Community Accessibility. "Information gathered for this registry will allow first responders to maximize the effectiveness and quality of care provided. Having disability-specific information prior to arriving at the scene of an emergency could mean the difference between life and death."

Alternative formats are also available. Paper, large print, Braille, and forms in Spanish may be obtained by calling 812-349-3429 or emailing human.rights@bloomington.in.gov. Anyone needing assistance in completing the form may use the same contact information.

After registration, a City representative will contact registrants every six months to ensure the information is up-to-date.

For more information, contact Michael Shermis at 812-349-3471 or shermism@bloomington.in.gov.

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