Sheriff Nick Welden and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office has put into operation a new database for first responders. The new system has been implemented in DeKalb County, with hopes that it will spread across the state and nation.
The system, named the Shining Star database will provide crucial information to first responders regarding citizens with special needs or special conditions. Shining Star citizens will be provided with an identification card and will be entered in the database.
For example, if a parent is injured or incapacitated in a car crash and a loved one with special needs such as Autism is left for first responders to care. This will give vital information to law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services as to the condition of the subject, next of kin, and the right courses of action when helping the patient.
First responders will be able to run the subject's identification information through dispatch, and dispatchers will be able to instantly advise those on scene the specific information regarding the care of the subject. Responders will also have contact information readily available for family who can respond to the scene and assist.
Sheriff Welden is also currently working with Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter to create a new car tag that Alabama citizens can purchase in the future to help fund the program.
The program will be available to all citizens of all ages with special medical needs, such as Autism, Dementia, Alzheimer's, or any mental disorder that can cause altered behavior. Caregivers and parents in DeKalb County may bring their loved ones to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office (2801 Jordan Road SW, Fort Payne, Alabama 35968) Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm to register. Registration is free.
DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the new database: "My inspiration for this program comes from my own daughter, Khloe, who has special needs. I began to look at this issue from a parent's perspective instead of a law enforcement perspective."
"If our daughter is with us on a trip, and Lord forbid something happened to myself and my wife, first responders on scene would be unaware of her condition or how best to care for her. Some mental disorders can also mimic the symptoms of drug usage, and we do not want that mistake to happen, whether it's our children or anyone else's," said Sheriff Welden.
"We are going to implement and refine this system at the local level, and hope that it can spread nationwide, so that our first responders have the information to best serve and protect, no matter the mental status of the citizen or situation," he added.
"God Bless!" Concluded Sheriff Welden.