Fluvanna Unlocked Program notes rapid growth in users

Press Release

The Unlocked program has handed out 500 information/signup packets in Fluvanna and Lake Monticello since it was launched just a month ago, Doers Group organizers said. Karen Panko of the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office  said “interest in the Unlocking program has sprouted” during that brief period.

The free Unlocked packets also are available at twice as many locations. In addition to the original sites of the county library, Jefferson Pharmacy and Fork Union Pharmacy, the free packets can be picked up at the Lake Monticello golf pro shop, Tropic Tan, Gary Albert State Farm and Ace Hardware.

 The Unlocked program has two parts: (1) Residents can guarantee that first responders can enter their home quickly in an emergency by registering a key box, key code or hidden key with the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office by emailing kpanko@fluvannasheriff.com (don’t forget to include your address and any pet alerts). Secure key boxes are available for about $10 at Ace Hardware, Amazon and elsewhere. Ambulance personnel can’t legally break down a door, and often have to wait precious minutes for the fire department to arrive and break down the door if no key or code is available.

(2) The Unlocked packet includes a health information form, including such things as drug allergies, health conditions and medicines taken. Ambulance personnel need such information to assure that they can give the proper care quickly.

 “These are simple things, but they can be a lifesaver,” said Rescue Squad Lt. Jeff Spinello. “If we have to wait 10 or 15 minutes for the fire department to break down a door it can be a big problem in an emergency situation. And knowing a person’s pre-existing conditions and medications can be critical in a medical emergency.”

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