Give the Gift of Information and Peace of Mind

EMS professionals know the importance of knowing the patient’s name, important medical history, and emergency contact. We also know that far too few patients use identification bracelets or have their medical history already written out in an easy to access and read format. This holiday season (or any time of year) consider giving the gift of information to your friends and family.

Here are four organizations with simple to use products that share information and add peace of mind to the user and their loved ones.

Identification Jewelry from the MedicAlert Foundation. According to their website “For more than 50 years, we have relayed vital medical information to emergency responders about members’ medical conditions, allergies, medications and dosages, so they receive faster, safer treatment.” Products include bracelets, bands, tags, watches, and other types of jewelry in a wide variety of styles and price ranges. Most importantly contacting the MedicAlert Foundation, using the information on the tag, can provide immediate access to the patient’s health history. The foundation will also contact the patient’s family.

HandiRecords came to my attention earlier this year. They have a variety of checkbook and billfold style products that are a “a mini medical file cabinet at your fingertips.” This holiday season I am planning to spend a few minutes with my now 60+ year old parents to discuss their medical problems, medications, and help them each fill out a HandiRecords Classic. EMS Agencies might consider using HandiRecords for a fund raising program.

The founder of the RoadID bracelet unexpectedly found himself in the ditch after he was run off the road while cycling. He was healthy and training for a triathlon. He never expected to need emergency identification or encounter EMS. RoadID bracelets are typically a durable nylon fabric with an engraved metal plate with the user’s name, emergency contact, and/or other information the user chooses.

ICE – In Case of Emergency – is the concept of programming your cell phone with an in case of emergency contact. This is another gift I could give my parents. There are even smartphone applications like smart-ICE from EMS Options. This app was designed by EMS professionals so you know it will have the medical history information that you need quickly during an emergency.

Consider any of these products for your own use. I often run alone, at night, and without any identification. The RoadID bracelet I wear gives my wife a little extra peace of mind that should I become ill or injured and unable to communicate to EMS and hospital professionals they will be able to call her.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.