How to help first responders help you |

How to help first responders help you

Hello Johnson Laners,

We have had a tragic month. The Las Vegas incident and the loss of one of my favorite rock stars Tom Petty inspired me to write about this subject: "In Case of Emergency." Every day we are subject to hazards or health situations that could put us in jeopardy.

I want to think about ways in which you can help first responders and others help you should you be placed in a dangerous situation.

I often hear of friends or others who suffer from a fall and injured themselves or have a medical emergency. We have all seen the life monitoring devices sold to us which include a panic button that calls emergency personal. I am sure they are very effective and necessary to those who subscribe to that service. But what if you fall and you didn't get to hit that button? If you are lucky enough to have someone find you then naturally they will take the necessary lifesaving steps and get you to medical care. What happens next? Who do the first responders call? How do they find out who to call? If your conscience you'll be able to let them know. However, if you are not conscience then what happens?

One of the easiest things you can do is to create an ICE card and put it in your wallet or purse. Somewhere the card is easily found and not easily misplaced. You can find a sample of one at this web site: You can also go into any web browser and search for the term ICE card. Some are fillable and some you just print out and fill in the old-fashioned way with a pen.

Another step you can take is to input the information into your smart phone. Most phones have a contact list. You can create a group which includes your family members, your physician or other special instructions such as allergies. You also can download one of numerous applications for the iPhone or Android phones that make it easier for you to enter the information and easy for first responders to retrieve it. If you are a Veteran, please put this phone number in your phone or on your ICE card 775 786-6286, ask a first responder or a loved one to call the VA to advise them of your situation. Even if you are not transported to the VA it will be captured in their system that you are being hospitalized. If you're lucky, they will pick up the bill!

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If you have an advanced directive or a living will, the State of Nevada maintains an electronic lockbox where you can upload your documents. The web address is: You can also save a copy of it to your documents file in your phone. This will help the medical team provide the care that you have chosen.

Additionally, I recommend you discuss with your loved ones some protocols to take if they haven't heard from you in designated period of time. Some of our neighbors live alone and some do not have close contacts. If you are in this situation I encourage to reach out to someone in the community. We are only on this earth a short time. We can look out for one another and bring some light to the darkness.

Naturally, there are dozens of other steps you can take to be proactive and mitigate any emergencies. I am constantly walking around picking up trip hazards that my teenagers leave around. Now is the time to act and not procrastinate.

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