The city is encouraging residents to take part in a new program, in partnership with a non-profit based in Oklahoma, that they say will help first responders in the event of an accident or tragedy.
“The new program shows what can be achieved through successful public/private partnerships,” said Mayor Michael Nutter who, along with police and fire officials, announced the launch of the Yellow ICEdot program, which stands for In Case of Emergency.
ICEdot is an online service that helps people create a personal and health information profile — with information like birthday, allergies and medications – so police, fire fighters and paramedics will have it available immediately.
Advertisements for the service will go out in all January water bills.
It is free for Philadelphia residents, said Chris Zenthoefer, the Tulsa, Okla.-based company’s CEO. That is a first. Normally, customers pay $10 annually for the service.
Company officials touted the program as way to boost safety, particularly for senior citizens.
“Statistics show a need for quick, accurate medical attention. It can mean the difference between life and death,” Zenthoefer said.
Deputy Fire Commissioner Ernest Hargett said that when seconds count, vital information is often unavailable.
“We in the fire department quite often come across people in emergencies who are not able to provide us with this information, and having this information can often be critical,” he said. “We’re urging citizens to get out there and register so we have the information available.”
In addition to the mailings, ICEdot’s yellow stickers will be available at every firehouse in the city.
Residents who choose to participate will register on the ICEdot.org website: providing their names and pertinent health information. Then, participants display the company’s yellow ICE sticker on the rear window of their vehicle or the front door of their home so first responders know their information is available.
When used for a vehicle, participants are asked to print out their profiles and keep it in their glove compartments. For those using the service for their homes, the information should be posted on their refrigerator.
The information is collected through a non-profit linked to a for-profit company, ICEdot, which sells a range of emergency identification services. Zenthoefer assured reporters that all information submitted while enrolling in the program would be kept confidential.
“We don’t sell any information,” he said.
Anyone logging onto the website can choose to view the products sold by the company, he said.