Easthampton condo owners are the latest beneficiaries of the lockbox program
Posted: 1/6/2022 19:43:35 PM
Modified: 1/6/2022 19:42:55 PM
EASTHAMPTON – Hampshire County’s TRIAD program has now installed over 900 Safe Entry safes for residents of nine county communities.
Easthampton public safety officials joined with TRIAD on Wednesday to set up 64 of the safes at the Harvest Valley Condominium East Street complex. Safes hold the keys to the house that can help first responders deal with emergencies when an occupant of a condominium becomes incapacitated, said Dave Fenton, director of TRIAD and deputy sheriff in the sheriff’s office from the county of Hampshire. Individual lockers can be opened with a code known only to public safety personnel, allowing first responders to enter a condo more quickly in the event of an emergency.
âIt’s another tool in the toolkit for emergency responders,â Fenton said.
In an emergency, the first responder will have access to the code – which will be registered with the Easthampton 911 dispatch center – by calling a dispatcher. As part of the design of the program, owners are not aware of the code, so a key will remain in the box and will only be accessible in an emergency.
Harvest Valley Condominium resident Jack Favaro inquired with the Easthampton Fire Department and the Condominium Association last July. Richard Newton, a member of the condominium association since its inception, contacted property manager Russ Jopson and instead of just one safe, the association paid for safes for each owner in the complex.
âIt seemed like an ideal thing for a condo full of seniors,â Newton said.
Before retiring, Favaro worked as a firefighter in Northampton for 32 years. Throughout his career, he said, there have been instances where it has been necessary to smash a window or door in order to enter and provide assistance.
âI used to hide a key outside, just in case something happened. I could be on the phone and tell the responders where the key should go. How else are they going to get in? said Favaro. âI want them to be able to come in. If someone falls in the bathroom – “I fell and I can’t get up” – they have a way in. “
TRIAD’s safe-deposit box program operates in nine Hampshire County communities: Amherst, Belchertown, Easthampton, Granby, Hadley, Hatfield, South Hadley, Southampton and Westhampton.
TRIAD is implemented by individual SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) councils. The community policing initiative between the elderly, law enforcement and service providers is designed to increase safety through education and crime prevention, as well as alleviate the fear of older people of ” be victimized and improve their quality of life.
In addition to the PO Box program, the TRIAD and SALT councils also have a house numbering program. With this initiative, more than 15,000 4-inch red signs attached to 5-foot metal stakes have been installed in Hampshire and Franklin counties.
TRIAD has also provided seniors with over 25,000 pounds of sand free of charge as part of the Sand for Seniors program.
Hampshire County was the first county in Massachusetts to establish a TRIAD SALT council in Amherst in 1992, made up of police, firefighters, sheriff, district attorney, seniors, aging staff councils, protective services staff and representatives of civic groups.
Now in its 30th year, Fenton said TRIAD is currently establishing a location and time to celebrate the anniversary over the summer.
âIt’s a good program,â he says. âSupport for the program comes from above and below. Everyone is working together for the same goal. There is much to celebrate over the past 30 years.
Emily Thurlow can be reached at [email protected]