As parents, we take many preventive measures to ensure the safety of our children. We hope that most of these we will never have to use, but when bad events occur, we are happy we have taken careful steps!
ICEdot (In Case of Emergency) is a new emergency identification and notification service that Chris Zenthoefer, parent of three, recently launched. Many cars now bear the bright yellow circular stickers on their rear windows. “When emergency responders see this sticker, they know they have more information available to them,” Zenthoefer explains.
The concept is simple, and best of all – this is a FREE program for Philadelphia residents! All you have to do is create an ICEdot profile at www.icedot.org. This provides includes basic information, medical allergies/conditions, and emergency contact information. Print out the profile and put it in your car’s glove box. When the ICEdot yellow stickers arrive at your home, attach them to the car’s rear window. If you are ever involved in an accident, responders know how to quickly get the information from the glove box.
Philadelphia is the first city to launch the program citywide, and ICEdot has partnered with city police and fire departments. These departments, as well as 25 EMS organizations, are being trained to look for this sticker and seek additional information.
“When people are involved in an accident, they forget the answers to basic questions like, ‘what is your husband/wife’s phone number? Are you on any medications?” explains Zenthoefer, who consulted with the American Ambulance Association and National Association of EMTs in developing ICEdot. Citing that most accident victims are awake, he explains that people are often confused, stressed or experiencing some level of shock. When children are in the vehicle, there is even greater concern. “Protecting yourself with ICEdot protects your kids,” he adds.
Another benefit of ICEdot is the speed with which loved ones are contacted. Zenthoefer tells of a woman whose older mother was involved in a car accident. The mother was brought by ambulance to the hospital and her daughter was waiting for her there because an emergency responder was able to contact the daughter and tell her about the accident and the exact location of the hospital.
Philadelphians can benefit in the home as well. The ICEdot yellow sticker can be adhered to the front door of the home and the ICEdot profile information posted on the refrigerator. Responders are trained to look for these also.
A premium ICEdot service is available. For $10 per year, participants receive ICEdot Snap identifiers that attach to clothing, and ICEdot stickers, key fobs, wristbands and bracelets. Additional medical information is captured, and at the time of injury or accident, the emergency responder can text message a special PIN number (found on the ICEdot item) and receive a text message with an alert message (which can be changed anytime) and the ICEdot profile.
ICEdot information was sent out in January water bills. Stickers and profile forms are available at local fire stations and city libraries. Take advantage of this wonderful free service to Philadelphians!
Northwest Philly Parents is a partnership between Newsworks and Germantown Avenue Parents.