E-911 Center

Dispatcher Cassie Seamans monitors the Cayuga County 911 Center. The county's E-911 department in 2018. The department is advising residents of a system that allows for dispatchers to be notified of medical conditions or other special needs before a 911 call is ever made.

Cayuga County residents with special needs and medical conditions can ensure emergency responders have that information before a call is ever made thanks to a special system at the county's E-911 Emergency Communications Department, officials announced Friday.

County residents can call the department's non-emergency line to provide dispatchers with information about themselves or any family members with conditions such as dementia, autism, or speech impediments prior to a 911 call, which can help first responders be prepared to handle callers' specific needs, according to a county press release.

"Any lifesaving information we can provide to our first responders in emergency situations is added value and will save time," E-911 Administrator Denise Spingler said.

Information provided to the department is tied to a residence's address, and appears on dispatcher's screen through the Computer Aided Dispatch System. From there, dispatchers can notify emergency personnel of the relevant information.

The announcement came after Cayuga County Legislator Joe DeForest, at a meeting of the Legislature's Judicial and Public Safety Committee Wednesday, asked if such a system were available.

DeForest shared a story of a family friend who's child with special needs reacted negatively to the overwhelming stimulus of emergency vehicles, and asked if their was a way to notify responders in advance, prompting the county's press release.

Residents interested in providing additional information to dispatchers can call the E-911 Center at (315) 253-1626. As the information is tied to an address, residents must notify the department if they move and wish for the information to be updated.

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Staff writer Ryan Franklin can be reached at (315) 282-2252 or ryan.franklin@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @RyanNYFranklin