Naperville Launches ‘Caring Hands’ Emergency Response Program

From the City of Naperville: Residents who may require special assistance during an emergency are encouraged to consider providing Naperville first responders details of their specific needs before an emergency situation through the new Caring Hands program.

This voluntary program offers residents with developmental, intellectual, medical or physical disabilities the ability to provide critical information, such as methods of communication, sensory and medical issues, de-escalation techniques, etc., to Naperville’s first responders. This information will be added to Naperville’s public safety database and will appear on 9-1-1 call-takers’ screens any time a call for police, fire or emergency medical services is received related to the participating resident’s name, address or vehicle.

Firefighters, paramedics and police officers can then use that knowledge of specific physical, behavioral or psychological conditions to better serve the participating resident when responding to an emergency.

“When emergencies happen, seconds count,” said Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis. “The more information we as first responders have going into an emergency situation, the more swiftly and effectively we’ll be able to respond and provide the best possible care to the individual while taking into account their specific needs.”

“This program is one more way the Naperville Police and Fire Departments are enhancing the quality of service we provide to residents,” said Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall. “By learning of special circumstances and needs before an emergency, our first responders are able to provide more individualized care for residents who may not be able to communicate their needs to us during an emergency.”

Caring Hands is a voluntary program. Information can be submitted by the individual with the specific need, their parent/guardian, foster family, legal representative or legal guardian. For more information or to download an application, visit www.naperville.il.us/caringhands.