Contact the fire department if you or someone you know is in need of a knox box.
The Livingston County Senior Tax Board has recently approved a grant in the amount of $3,740 to allow Aging in Place to purchase 20 door hanger know boxes to be loaned out to county residents who are 60 years of age and older, Ann Burchett, a representative with the Livingston County Health Department and Aging in Place said.
In 2018 Aging in Place first pursued funding for the knox box loan program in conjunction with the Chillicothe Fire Department so older county residents who could not afford a knox box would have access to one for as long as they remained in their home. Burchett said initially they received funding for 10 boxes and those were loaned out, and a waiting list was started.
Chillicothe Fire Department Chief Eric Reeter said currently there are two people on the waiting list.
Knox boxes allow the fire department to access the elderly resident’s home using a key to unlock the knox box, which contains a key to the person’s home. This allows them to enter the home in case of an emergency without having to cause damage to the home to gain entry.
New technology now allows dispatch to inform emergency crews if a home has a knox box and the location of the box, while they are en route to a home.
“This really saves us time and allows us to address the situation we are there for much quicker,” Reeter said. “We can get out of the truck with the knox box key in hand, and start to address the reason for the call quicker than having to look for the box and go back to the fire truck for the key.”
Burchett the addition of these 20 boxes will bring the total to 30 available through grants. However, she said boxes can also be purchased.
“For less than $200 these boxes can also be purchased,” she said. “And that is not much for the peace of mind an adult child can have knowing emergency services can have easier access to their parents home if it is ever needed.”
Anyone who purchases a knox box on their own must have it registered and keyed specifically at the fire department.
“The most efficient process is to go to the fire department with credit card payment and have Chief Reeter or another member assist you,” Burchett said.
Any resident who is interested in applying for a knox box should go to the fire department to fill out the needed paperwork. If available fire department personnel will come install the knox box. If there are no knox boxes available at the time the resident’s name will be added to the waiting list.