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SNAP database provides critical health information to emergency personnel

Posted June 18, 2019

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Fort Worth’s free Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to provide important medical information to responding emergency personnel about a resident’s access or functional needs.

Although the program has the same name as the federal food stamps program, this SNAP program is a Texas regional database hosted by the Fort Worth Fire Department Office of Emergency Management.

Fort Worth residents with an access or functional need that would have difficulty leaving their residence before, during or after an emergency situation may register in this free program. The definition of an access or functional need is very broad and covers medical, age-related, behavioral and intellectual conditions.

Here’s how the program works. Individuals, family members, friends or neighbors of a person with an access or functional need can register an individual in SNAP online. Registration is free and good for one year, but must be updated annually. If an email address is included in the registration, the registering party will receive a reminder a couple of weeks before the account is to expire.

The registration process will ask for:

  • Registered party’s name.
  • Address.
  • Sex.
  • Age.
  • Weight.
  • Contact information such as phone number and email.
  • Primary language.
  • Emergency contact.
  • What is the access or functional need?

No confidential or financial information, such as Social Security number, banking or driver’s license data, is gathered. Once the registration is complete, it is considered confidential and protected as allowed by law, to be used only by emergency responders and authorized public safety personnel, including emergency management personnel during disaster situations.

If an emergency 911 call is received from the registrant’s address, fire and police dispatchers relay the information about the caller’s access or functional needs to the first responders while they are en route. This advance information will help responders provide the best care possible.

Sign up for the Special Needs Assistance Program.

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