Roaring Fork Fire launches new “Community Connect” platform
Platform allows homeowners to share essential property information with first responders
In the event of a fire or other emergency, a few seconds and a bit of property information can make all the difference for the first responders working to effectively respond to an incident.
And with the Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority’s launch of a new “Community Connect” platform this week, sharing that information just got easier for midvalley and Snowmass residents and business owners.
Community Connect will supplement existing information from property assessors on how and when a structure was built. That assessors’ data, while helpful, lacks key details about what (or rather who) is inside a building: Community Connect bridges the gap with details about the needs of occupants and pets, plus emergency contact information and fire escape plan details.
“I think it’s going to be great for the community to interact and tell us things about their property that might need special attention,” said John Mele, deputy chief and fire marshal at Roaring Fork Fire Rescue.
The platform rolled out this week and is “race ready,” according to Mele; Roaring Fork Fire employees beta-tested it with their own homes before the launch.
The emergency contact information can be especially important for properties purchased under a limited liability company with no immediate contact listed in the property assessment. Roaring Fork Fire Chief Scott Thompson can recall “so many times” when the lack of contact information has come up while responding to incidents, he said.
“We’ve been here forever, John and I have been here forever, and we know a lot of people, but we get this one house and there’s a water break and there’s water flowing down the driveway and we want to stop the loss in the house,” Thompson said. “How do we get ahold of somebody? And there’s no contact information.”
All information is voluntary — it’s up to residents and business owners whether they participate and how much information they provide — and the platform is secure, with bank-level encryption and security on login information and sensitive details.
First responders will be able to access the information from password-protected devices located inside fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.
“It’s just like giving us a key to their house. We’re not going to let anybody else see this. … Not everybody walking up to a firetruck can see their information,” Thompson said. “There’s people that don’t want their information out there and this is secure. That’s part of the reason that we went with this.”
The platform is currently only available to people in the Roaring Fork Fire coverage area: Snowmass Village, Old Snowmass, Basalt, the Frying Pan Valley, El Jebel and the portion of Missouri Heights located in Eagle County. Other local fire authorities in the valley are looking at implementing the program down the road, according to Thompson.
To sign up, visit communityconnect.io/info/co-rffr; a name, phone number and address are required to sign up.
Those who don’t have access to a computer or who encounter technical difficulties can call Roaring Fork Fire Rescue at 970-340-7040.
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