HINGHAM -- The Hingham Commission on Disabilities, the Hingham Police and Fire Departments and the South Shore Regional Emergency Communications Center would like to share with residents information on the Town of Hingham’s Exceptional Needs Registry.
The Exceptional Needs Registry is a database of residents in town who have voluntarily been identified as possibly needing special assistance when contacting 911 or in distress.
The Town created the registry as a method to aid first responders who are called in to assist an individual with unique circumstances. The two-page form combines the Massachusetts 911 Disability Indicator form with the Town of Hingham’s unique Exceptional Needs form. The information provided remains confidential and will only be accessed if a call to 911 is generated by a telephone number associated with the person listed on the form with a disability.
Visit the registry page on the Hingham Police Department website to download a copy of the Exceptional Needs Registry Form.
In addition to online form, hard copies can be picked up at the following locations around town:
- Central Fire Station, 339 Main St.
- Police Department, 212 Central St.
- Town Hall Main Office, 210 Central St.
- Hingham Public Library, 66 Leavitt St.
- Hingham Senior Center, 224 Central St.
Completed forms can be returned, along with a photograph, to the Hingham Police Department at 212 Central St., emailed to ExceptionalRegistry@hpd.org, or faxed to 781-741-1483.
Anyone needing assistance completing the form can contact the Commission on Disabilities at firstname.lastname@example.org. All information is kept confidential and can be removed per request of the resident at any time.
Several groups in town, including the Commission on Disabilities, South Shore Regional Emergency Communication Center, the Police and Fire Departments, Senior Center, and Hingham Municipal Light have all contributed to the form’s creation.
“Oftentimes people can be mistaken as aggressive or non-cooperative when dealing with first responders, when in fact they may simply have needs that are not immediately recognizable,” said Diane DeNapoli, Chair of the Hingham Commission on Disabilities. “By having this registry available, our first responders will be able to access vital information on those in need before even arriving on scene. This can prove extremely useful in situations where even a few seconds count.”
The term “exceptional needs” is used to describe those listed on the form as a way to be as inclusive as possible to all residents. The term “special needs” is often associated with younger residents or students, while exceptional needs may refer to deaf or blind adults, veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, those with short-term and long-term disabilities, cognitive disabilities, and more.
“Having this information available to our first responders can really save a life, and we encourage all residents who are in a position to contribute to the registry to do so,” said Hingham Police Chief David Jones. “We have already responded to calls involving residents listed on the registry and the information proved to be extremely useful.”
For more information, visit the Commission on Disabilities webpage.
Photo: On Tuesday, April 12, members from the Hingham Commission on Disabilities met with members of the South Shore Regional Emergency Communication Center to learn more about the needs of first responders and how they can better serve those with exceptional needs when answering various calls. Pictured is Jordan Oster, one of the SSRECC telecommunicators who met with the Commission during their visit. (Photo courtesy Town of Hingham)