For Immediate Release
Friday, April 14, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Concord Creates Community Alert Program to Better Serve Students with Special Needs
CONCORD — Police Chief Joseph O’Connor, Fire Chief Mark Cotreau and Superintendent Diana Rigby are pleased to announce that Concord has created a First Responder Information Form to increase safety for students with special needs.
The form is designed to give Concord’s first responders important information about a student’s needs, so police and fire are best prepared to assist in an emergency — where a student may be lost or in distress.
Concord Detective Scott Camilleri, who is also the Concord School Resource Officer, and Jessica Murphy, Director of Special Education at Concord Public Schools, designed the form with assistance from the Concord Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC).
“This initiative provides important information to first responders that will assist with our goal of delivering exceptional service to our residents,” Chief O’Connor said. “This is a great example of the importance of community partnerships. I want to thank and commend everyone who worked together on this project.”
While the program is completely voluntary, parents who have children between the age of 3-22 are encouraged to sign up. All information shared will be kept confidential by the Concord Police Department.
“This service will greatly benefit our students with special needs,” Superintendent Rigby said. “Parents who have already signed their children up for this program feel reassured that first responders are aware and know how to respond to students with certain challenges.”
Examples of questions on the form include: Is your child/teen deaf? Gets anxious in stressful situations and may not communicate? Understands what is being said? Gets agitated with loud noises? Has a condition that may impact his/her reaction in a crisis? Should the Fire Department be aware to search for a child/teen with specific needs in case of a fire?
If a student is registered with the First Responders Information Form and an emergency situation occurs, the reporting party should inform first responders that the child is on file so they can respond with their needs in mind.
“Our goal is to ensure that if there is an emergency situation, we have all the relevant information to quickly and efficiently address the needs of students,” Chief Cotreau said. “This will better ensure the safety of our community members.”
The First Responder Information Form is available online at the Concord Police Department and will also be distributed through the schools. Those who are interested in signing their child up for the First Responder Information Form should contact Detective Camilleri at [email protected]