500-plus could sign up for medical ID bracelets

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Carson City residents Dorothy Santos and her husband, Jim, show off their medical ID bracelets at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center Tuesday.

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Carson City residents Dorothy Santos and her husband, Jim, show off their medical ID bracelets at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center Tuesday.

An steady flow of customers came to the Carson City Senior Citizens Center Tuesday to apply for medical identification bracelets offered through TRIAD and the Carson City Sheriff's Department.

The bracelets are available for a $10 donation and especially beneficial to people with specific medical conditions or needs, seniors and the disabled.

"You don't have to be a senior to take advantage of this program," said Mary Yoshisato. "It's a good program, no matter where you are. You can sign your grandchildren up for it."

Yoshisato brought information about the bracelets to Mayor Ray Masayko and Sheriff Kenny Furlong. Volunteers at the sheriff's department did research on cities with similar demographics, which indicated about 500 people would sign up.

There are more than 5,000 people signed up with the Carson City Cares Plus program, according to Vince Pierozzi, chief of emergency medical services in Carson City. That program has been active for five years.

"The Carson City Cares program updates its database every May," Pierozzi said. "Updates should be done at any time medical needs change, or anything critical to their medical history changes, and especially their address."

Pierozzi said changes cannot be made by phone. Individuals should call the fire department at 887-2210, ext. 1011, and request an update form.

"Eventually, the database will be connected to all mobile database units in patrol cars and fire trucks," Pierozzi said. "We can also attach a photograph of the person and scan other information, such as a do-not-resuscitate order."

Information in the Carson City Fire Department's database includes the person's name, address, phone, Social Security number, date of birth, race, sex, primary-care physician, allergies, medications, medical history, comments and special needs, living will information and do-not-resuscitate orders. All information is confidential.

Carson City resident Andree Hinkle said she signed up for the program because she's a widow and lives alone.

"I'm doing this to feel secure," she said. "I used to live in a gated community in Denver. We had our own paramedics to help out in case of emergency. I'm on medication for a medical condition.

"It's an attractive bracelet. I think I'll put mine on now to get used to it."

"This is an enhancement of a program put in place several years ago called 'File of Life,'" Masayko said. "It's a free, additional service of Carson City Cares."

"We have volunteers standing by to make sure we don't fall behind," Furlong said. "We want them to rapidly put the information into the system for those who are not already in it."

Furlong said the initial funds for the program came from Carson City Kiwanis, Carson City Soroptimist International, private donations and the sheriff's department.

Other bracelet wearers include children with disabilities such as autism, and caregivers of Alzheimer's patients. If something were to happen to a caregiver, means to take care of the patient could be arranged.

"I hope families take advantage of this to get care to their loved one quickly," Furlong said. "There's no greater frustration (to us) than not having good information or knowing who a person is."

Bracelets are available 8:30-11:30 a.m. weekdays at the senior center. Information to be kept inside the bracelet should be completed then taken to Ponderosa Stamp and Engraving, 104 Corbett St., for an identification number to be imprinted. The imprint cost is $2.50.

Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.

Fast facts

What: Medical ID bracelet distribution

When: 8:30-11:30 a.m. weekdays

Where: Carson City Senior Citizens Center, 911 Beverly Drive

Cost: $10 donation

Call: 883-0703

Engraving: Ponderosa Stamp and Engraving, 104 Corbett St.

Cost: $2.50


Information about the bracelets and Carson City Cares Plus:



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