From the AP/Chicago Tribune:
A new “premise alert program” allows families in some areas of Illinois to share information about medical problems and disabilities with local police and fire departments. Advocates say the information will allow emergency responders to act with greater speed and sensitivity.
The point of the program is to prepare officers approaching a person with a disability during an emergency and to understand, for example, that they may fear loud noises or be unable to hear spoken instructions. Firefighters would know if a burning home is likely to contain someone who can’t get out. Advocates say Pennsylvania is the only other state to offer the service so broadly.
Itasca deputy police chief Dean Myles, who serves on the board of the Autism Society of Illinois, said the service could help prevent potentially fatal encounters between police and disabled people, including one in 2005 that killed Hansel Cunningham of Des Plaines.