Charlestown ‘lock box’ program gives first responders an edge during an emergency

South County

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Accidents can happen at any time, and the faster first responders can get on scene, the better.

For that reason, the town of Charlestown has launched a new residential lock box program which allows police, fire and rescue crews to quickly gain access to a home in the event of an emergency.

“Any time someone’s calling for help, they want to get it as fast as possible, and this is certainly going to make it faster for us to get into a home and help somebody in need,” said Andrew Kettle, chief of Charlestown Ambulance Rescue Service.

The program is available to Charlestown residents who are 65 and older or have special needs or a medical disability.

When a person signs up, their house key is placed in a small and secure metal storage device that’s installed near the front door. Charlestown Police Lt. Philip Gingerella assured that only authorized members of Charlestown police, fire and rescue would have access to the key, and only in the event of an emergency.

“You could be someone that’s healthy and older, independent, but that one time you slip and fall in your kitchen, you can’t get to the door,” Gingerella explained. “The key is going to save us time and is going to save us damage to your house.”

Gingerella said they’ll have 10 boxes available at a time.

The program cost $10,000 and was approved as part of the town budget, according to Kettle, but it’s free for residents to sign up.

For more information, contact Officer Michael Carrasquillo at (401) 213-6924 or

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