FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) — The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office is launching a new database for first responders across the county.
The new system, “Shining Star”, will be a database that provides crucial information to first responders when they respond to emergency calls for citizens with special medical needs or conditions. Those who register for the program will be given an identification card along with being entered into the database.
Law enforcement says this will help both emergency crews and those with specific conditions, providing vital information quickly to those on scene, to contact next of kin, and the right course of action to take when helping those patients.
Shining Star will be available to all citizens of all ages, the sheriff’s office says, for those with Autism, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, or any mental disorder that can cause altered behavior. Caregivers and parents can bring their loved ones to the sheriff’s office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday for free registration.
First responders will be able to relay the patient’s information through dispatch, which will help dispatchers provide specific instructions on how to care for that patient and their medical needs. Emergency crews will then also be able to contact next of kin who can respond and help.
DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden is also working with Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter to create a new car tag that Alabama citizens can purchase in the future to help fund the program.
“My inspiration for this program comes from my own daughter, Khloe, who has special needs,” Sheriff Welden stated. “I began to look at this issue from a parent’s perspective instead of a law enforcement perspective.”
“We are going to implement and refine this system at the local level, and hope that it can spread nationwide, so that our first responders have the information to best serve and protect, no matter the mental status of the citizen or situation,” Weldon said.
For more information about the program or to register, contact the sheriff’s office by visiting their website, or call 256-845-3801.