Emergency Planning for Special Needs

The Champaign Health District is continually evaluating the needs of the community related to emergency preparedness. One of the charges to the health district is to assure that members of Champaign County that have special needs would have those needs met in an emergency; an emergency such as a power outage, act of bioterrorism, or even a medical emergency.

As part of this planning, in collaboration with the 911 Center, county EMS personnel, Mercy Memorial Hospital, Premier Health Care Services, and local law enforcement a program entitled Special Children’s Outreach and Pre-hospital Education (SCOPE) was offered to families in Champaign County. The purpose of this program was to identify children with special needs, develop a county wide identification and response system that would meet the needs of the children, and to be able to provide this service regardless of the part of the county the child resides in.

The event was very successful, seventeen children were registered and a notebook was developed for each EMS jurisdiction noting the specific information related to the child and any special instructions for EMS. As of today, there have been three separate instances where this pre-planning was invaluable when a medical emergency occurred and the medical response time was shortened!

However, our work has just begun – we know there are more children with special needs and many adults that might also have special circumstances should an emergency arise. If you or a loved one is in this situation, the process begins with filling out a simple form. This form can be found on the Champaign Health District website at www.champaignhd.com under the Emergency Preparedness tab. The from is critical because it gives the persons condition, the special needs, the location of the hospital that can most meet the needs, and the name of the primary physician. If you do not have access to the internet, please call Jeanne Bowman at the health district at 937.484.1607 for help. Once you have completed the form please e-mail it to jbownman@champaignhd.com, mail it, or bring it to the Champaign Health District 1512 S US Highway 68, Suite Q100 Urbana OH 43078. Jeanne will then contact you for the next steps.