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Bristol launches new tool to improve response to fire/EMS calls

New website allows neighbors to input information for firefighters

BRISTOL, Conn. — The city of Bristol has launched a new, life-saving program so firefighters can move quicker and smarter when they respond to calls.

It's called Community Connect and the city just launched it last week. It's a secure, encrypted website, like the ones run by banks, where neighbors and business owners can upload information to help first responders.

"This is a game-changer. [...] The potential for this software is, I believe, limitless," said Chief Richard Hart with the Bristol Fire Department. "So that we can react and provide a more efficient and effect service to the residents and businesses in Bristol." 

Neighbors can enter things like, who lives there and how to get in touch with them, if anyone has a disability or speaks another language, the layout of the house, special security codes, and even how to shut off your water and electricity.

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"It also has the capability for them to request a smoke detector or a safety inspection of their home," Hart said. 

Plus, it asks families to create a meeting place or plan in case of an emergency, forcing them to think about it. It's a game-changer for firefighters, who need as much help as they can get when they get a call. 

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"Last year, we responded to 2,550 [calls]," Hart said.

But it's not just for the firefighters. In the future, this will be an important line of communication.

"We'll be able to email them or text them public safety announcements, holiday safety tips," Hart said. 

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For more information on Community Connect and to learn how to input information, click here.

Julia LeBlanc is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jleblanc@fox61.com Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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