According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 73 percent of people living with a severe disability show no signs of their disability, such as the use of a device or wheelchair. These individuals are said to have an invisible disability. Richfield’s first responders deploy the Vitals app to better serve these residents.
Since its creation in 2017, first responders have embraced the information service to bridge the communication gap between themselves and the populations they serve. Up until now, this tool has primarily been used by law enforcement agencies.
The Vitals app enables safer community interactions by allowing individuals with visible and invisible conditions and disabilities to create and share a personalized digital profile with authorized first responders through a secure, mobile app, improving real-time communication, reducing the risk of misunderstandings, and promoting greater independence.
During the enrollment process, a personalized profile is created which contains important information about the account holder.
The enrollee then receives a Vitals Beacon, which alerts Richfield first responders’ cell phones and tablets when they come within 80 feet of the individual. The first responder will then be supplied with critical information, triggers and proven de-escalation techniques, ensuring that they have the right information on how to respond to individuals who may be at risk.
In Hennepin County, nine other law enforcement agencies utilize the Vitals app.
Where the City of Richfield differs in its deployment of the Vitals app is that it is used by both the Richfield Police Department an the city’s Fire Department. The RFD responds to more than 4,000 calls for service a year.
The Fire Department was the first in Hennepin County to use the Vitals App.
Both the city’s Police and Fire Departments agree that Vitals app will serve the Richfield community most effectively if vulnerable persons and their families create accounts.
Richfield first responders started using the Vitals app on October 1, 2019.
To learn more about the Vitals App or to sign up for the free program, visit: https://thevitalsapp.com/