APD/AFD offer free key lock boxes for older or disabled Aberdeen residents
The Aberdeen Police Department, in partnership with the Aberdeen Fire Department, announced that they are implementing a new project to help older or disabled residents be more accessible to first responders in an emergency.
The project is designed to allow first responders faster, easier, and safer access to homes if the resident is unable to provide access due to illness or injury.
In the last two years, Aberdeen Police say that they have conducted numerous welfare, safety and health/rescue calls, many of which required entrance to resident’s houses. During the same period, the Aberdeen Fire Department also conducted many similar contacts requiring entrance to a private residence.
They add that often, particularly if residents live alone and are disabled, injured, ill, unconscious, or otherwise unable to provide access, department personnel must force entry to render aid, sometimes causing structural damage in the process.
This new project will provide and install free key safes on the exterior of the homes of qualified Aberdeen residents.
After the resident sets the safe combination and shares it with the Aberdeen Police Department, it will be entered into a secure database accessible only to Grays Harbor Dispatch and first responders.
During an emergency, responders can retrieve the combination and location of the safe electronically, retrieve the stored key, then quickly and safely enter the residence to provide assistance.
Purchase of the key safes was made possible through a grant from the Grays Harbor Community Foundation Community Building Grants program.
Officials state that when Rudy Run, the manufacturer of the metal key safes, was informed of the nature and purpose of the project, generously offered a reduced price for their product, allowing a significant expansion of the number available for the project.
“Without the Grays Harbor Community Foundation and the generosity of Rudy Run it’s unlikely we would have been able to do this,” said Aberdeen Police Chief Dale Green. “Since our VIPS – Volunteers in Police Service- will be installing the safes and overseeing the project we can make Aberdeen a safer city while expending no taxpayer dollars. Everybody wins.”
“This is a great project,” said Aberdeen Fire Chief Dave Golding. “In emergency responses, time is critical. The faster responders can get into a residence, the more quickly we can render aid. With this project, responders will know where the key box is and what the code is when they arrive. That will save precious seconds, time that can be priceless in saving lives and reducing property damage.”
Aberdeen residents interested in applying for the project can find an application on the City of Aberdeen Website https://www.aberdeenwa.gov/214/Police-Department or from the following link: https://forms.office.com/g/6yTNLJZwXG
Due to the limited number of safes available, applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and successful applicants will be contacted by VIPS volunteers to set up an installation appointment.
The project is designed to assist older or disabled Aberdeen residents, particularly those who live alone, but others may be considered depending on need.
The safes will remain the property of the Aberdeen Police Department and will be marked and numbered.