Program enables emergency responders to enter your home without damaging the front door

MONROE, CT — A town program helps emergency responders get to participants quickly in times of need — without breaking down the door to enter their home. The town’s contact and access program is endorsed by the Monroe TRIAD, police department and the Commission on Aging.

Residents who sign up for the program allow their data to be entered into a CAD (computer aided dispatch) system, which dispatchers use to give emergency responders the information they need to reach the resident or their loved one as quickly as possible.

“It goes without saying – minutes count when someone needs help,” said Kimberly A. Cassia, the director Community and Social Services. “If someone falls and can’t get up because they are physically injured, have gone unconscious or even stopped breathing due to a respiratory or cardiac event, this program allows first responders (PD, EMS or Fire) a means to gain access quickly so that the person’s medical needs can be taken care of.”

The contact and access program is a voluntary program. Residents choose whether to participate to help prevent or reduce damage to their homes. The program provides:

Peace of Mind: Only emergency responders responding to the incident will be given the code or key location. Friends, family and neighbors cannot use this system to access a home.

An Alternative to Forced Entry: If a key box, garage code or hidden key is used, responders won’t have to force entry into your home. However, in the event of a time sensitive situation (a person not breathing, fire, etc.) emergency personnel may not have the time to use the key code system and will gain entry by the fastest means possible.

You can purchase a lock box of your choice from The Home Depot, Amazon or Aubuchon Hardware Store.

This is an example of the application form to sign up for the program.

If a group of people living in one of the 55 and over communities purchase the boxes, members of the Masonic temple have offered to come on a designated date and time to affix the box in a location chosen by the senior. Check with your association on rules that can affect installation.

Currently, five residents are signed up for the program and Cassia said she hopes more people take advantage of it.

For information, call Veronica Jensen, Elderly Services coordinator, at 203-452-2815 ext. 3 or email her at [email protected].

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