CARMEL, Ind. – The sound of an ambulance driving into town can spark worry in a parent, but even more so for parents like Laura Campbell.
“My daughter is 27 and she has had epilepsy since she was 18 months old,” explained Campbell, also a member of the Carmel City Council.
At first her daughter's epilepsy was manageable, until it picked up in her teen years, leaving her with disabilities that have stayed with her into her twenties.
“The long term consequences of all those years of seizures and the medication have taken a toll on issues such as memory," Campbell said. "She has and learning disabilities.”
While her daughter still lives at home, she’s sometimes home alone. If she ever needed to dial 911, first responders would need to know of her condition.
"If we have that already ready for us to say 'hey, they may have this problem’, we can dial in even faster to what’s going on,” said Carmel firefighter Tim Griffin.
It’s for reasons like this that Carmel is starting a new Specific Response Registry. Residents can voluntarily submit information such as health issues or disabilities, giving first responders important background info to use in medical emergencies or fires.
"The more information we have before we arrive to an emergency, the better we can mentally prepare, we can physically prepare, and we can also have the tools we need upon arrival to head in and help whatever that situation is," Griffin said. "If we’re going to head to somebody's home and we know they may be wheelchair bound, we know that ‘hey, they may not be able to get out as easily.'”
For parents like Campbell, this new registry is much more than just medical info. It’s gives peace of mind, and a sense of relief.
“My daughter knows when it’s proper to call 911," Campbell said. "So if for some reason she does think that she needs medical care, for her to be able to call 911... they'll pull it up on the screen and know before they get to our house that she has epilepsy, she has cognitive disabilities... I think is a huge relief for me and my family.”
You can fill out the form online HERE, or you can visit Carmel City Hall to fill out a form in person.