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Clayton first responders receive new tool to help special needs residents

CLAYTON, Mo. – In the event of an emergency, the City of Clayton has created a joint registry for residents who have special needs, an invaluable service designed to save time and lives.

When crisis calls, first responders will be the first to tell you time means everything.

“Seconds are everything. Especially if we can get that notification,” said Firefighter Paramedic John Herr, Clayton Fire Department.

Both the Clayton Fire Department and Clayton Police Department have had separate systems in place to respond to calls involving people with special needs.

That information is available in one single registry. All you have to do is go to the city's website and sign up.

For both departments, that means easy access to important information for a loved one.

“It will give us specifics about address, date of birth,” said Corporal Robert Wood, Clayton Police Department.

“'The officers can pull it up right away. Start looking for the person with that information on their in-car computer. So we don't have to wait for it to come to us second or third-hand,” said Lt. Mark Smith, Clayton Police Department.

As you can imagine, the loved ones who are reporting it might be stressed out.

“Especially the people that are on the ventilator, and that need the special care, we're going to make sure we have all the resources we need,” said John Herr.

The joint special needs registry has been up and running for a few days. Clayton authorities said it's the first combined registry between departments in the same municipality in the area.

“It's a great system to have,” says Herr.

This particular special needs registry is for Clayton residents only.

People who live in other communities can contact their fire or police department to inquire about what services are available for those with special needs.