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New online questionnaire to help first responders

Reno Resident Carol Reitz answering an online survey called "Reno Community Connect" to give fire fighters critical information should they ever need to respond to her home.
Reno Resident Carol Reitz answering an online survey called "Reno Community Connect" to give fire fighters critical information should they ever need to respond to her home.(KOLO)
Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 4:22 PM PDT
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The Reno Fire Department activated a new

Tuesday morning to give first responders critical information about your family should they ever be called to your home.

"I think it's wonderful," said Reno resident and mother of three, Carol Reitz.

She says she likes the program because she is raising three sons and one is autistic. His name is Justin.

"How would your son Justin respond to first responders if they came right up to him and started asking him questions?" asked KOLO 8 News Anchor, Noah Bond.

"If someone tried to ask him questions he didn't understand he would just repeat them and so they would not get accurate information from him," Reitz said.

The online program iscalled

. The Reno Fire Department is the first in Nevada to launch this voluntary self-reporting program for the people and homes in the area it serves.

Minutes after KOLO 8 News introduced it to Reitz and moments after its initial launch Tuesday morning at 11:00 a.m. she started answering the questions to add an extra layer of protection for her family.

"If there was a fire in the home and I was incapacitated, they would know there was a child with autism in the home," said Reitz.

Reno Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Voskamp says "Reno Community Connect" delivers critical information to his crews as they're rushing to an emergency.

"Where your animals are at. Does anybody have a developmental disability or are they immobile? Do you have elderly people in a room that maybe are bed ridden. All of that information to have before we get on scene is vital. You can answer all the questions, none of the questions, one of the questions, that's completely up to you. This is a self-report," said Voskamp.

He says the online questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to answer. There is no charge to you, but the Reno Fire Department did spend part of its budget on this program.

to enter your information for the Reno Fire Department to access in an emergency.

Voskamp says your information will be protected and not shared, with the exception of information about COVID-19. It will be shared with the health department.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020

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