Local advocacy and support nonprofit to help introduce the Vitals™ App to Western North Carolina

FIRST will partner with Vitals™ Aware Services to build awareness about new life-saving technology expanding to North Carolina

July 16, 2019 – Asheville, NC – One of the most active advocacy and support organizations in Western North Carolina is partnering with a Twin-Cities-based tech company to introduce families, first responders and schools to the Vitals™ App.

FIRST and Vitals™ Aware Services have formed a partnership to build awareness and sign up individuals and families for the Vitals™ App, a new service created to help save lives, improve public safety and give users and their families more peace of mind.

Vitals™ was introduced to Western North Carolina last month when Buncombe County Schools and Vitals™ Aware Services announced at a joint press conference that Vitals™ will be piloted in two schools this fall. Buncombe County Schools is the first school district in the country to begin using the service.

The Vitals™ App was launched during the summer of 2017. Since then it has grown to approximately 65 public safety departments across Minnesota and is now expanding nationally into public safety agencies, schools and care provider facilities.

Janet Price-Ferrell, executive director of FIRST, learned about Vitals™ through the Buncombe County Schools’ Foundation, the organization funding the service for the first year. She loved the idea and endorsed Vitals™ during the press conference.

“I believe this new technology will make a significant impact in the lives of people living with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities and many other conditions,” Price-Ferrell said. “Our team was inspired by the success stories in Minnesota and are energized to bring this much needed service to Western North Carolina.”

FIRST will introduce Vitals™ to its existing constituents and partners and will collaborate with Vitals™ in building awareness among first responders, schools and other affiliated organizations. FIRST serves constituents from pre-school to seniors. It focuses primarily on people living with developmental delays, physical disabilities, learning disabilities and mental illnesses.

“We are fortunate to have FIRST as our first strategic partner in North Carolina. FIRST has served Western North Carolina for nearly two decades. It has earned a strong reputation for helping thousands of families in Western NC,” said Janeé Harteau, president/CEO of Vitals™ Aware Services.

For more details on the Vitals™ App and the company’s mission, please contact Stan Alleyne at 612-704-6621.

About Vitals™ Aware Services

Vitals™ works by equipping first responders with information voluntarily provided by Vitals™ enrollees. Law enforcement and other first responders download the Vitals™ First Responder app on their cellphones. The service allows a vulnerable person to register online, then wear a beacon that takes the form of a keychain, necklace, debit card or bracelet. An Android phone can also serve as the beacon. When a Vitals™ user comes within 80 feet of an officer or first responder equipped with the service, the officer will get a notification about the person’s diagnosis and how they may best interact with them.


FIRST offers a variety of services including early intervention, parent education and trainings, consultative and direct support to persons with disabilities living in their own homes.  We daily connect persons with disabilities and their families with the resources they need to thrive in the community. Whether it is coordinating with service agencies, schools, or community partners, we have the knowledge and relationships to advocate effectively on your behalf. Simply put, we should be the first place for persons with disabilities and their families to check in when they need support.

To learn more about Vitals™, go to www.thevitalsapp.com. To learn more about FIRST go to www.firstwnc.org.