Florida Encourages Enrollment in Emergency Contact Program

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has designated the week of October 2nd through the 8th as “Register Your Emergency Contact Information Week.”

Drivers can submit the names of two contacts to be attached to their driver’s license in case they are in a car crash and law enforcement needs to contact a loved one. Only law enforcement can access the information, which is kept private under the Driver Privacy Protection Act.

If you are incapable of making a medical decision following a Florida auto accident, a loved one can intervene and make that decision or can inform emergency workers what type of drug you are taking, whether you have any allergies, and about your pre-existing medical conditions. Entering the information can save time in an emergency that could make the difference between life and death.

So far, five million Floridians have registered with the program, which takes about 30 seconds to register. Anyone with a Florida drivers license or ID can register at www.flhsmv.gov/eci/.

The idea was proposed by Christine Olson, a mother who got a call the evening of December 7, 2005 that her 22-year-old daughter Tiffany had been a passenger on a motorcycle that had been in an accident. She arrived at the Manatee Memorial Hospital only to be told her daughter was not there. It wasn’t until the next morning that she found her daughter was in the medical examiner’s office.

She had passed away around 7 p.m. after being thrown from the bike driven by her boyfriend. He did not die immediately and his parents also were unable to find him after the motorcycle crash.

Christine did not want this to happen to any other family so she contacted her state representative to push for the Emergency Contact Information System, now used by most Florida law enforcement agencies. She started the group, To Inform Families First, to encourage others to register with the state. Our condolences are extended to Christine Olson and her family for their loss.

Source: http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/131019503.html; http://www.toinformfamiliesfirst.org/