Medical responders receive assistance from Downriver cities

By CHRIS JACKETT
Sunday Times Newspapers

Allen Park and Wyandotte have taken measures to help out first responders during emergency medical situations.

The File of Life program in Wyandotte and “ICE” program (which stands for “in case of emergency”) in Allen Park both provide residents with an extra measure that could protect against medical mishaps on short notice.

“A person fills out a registration form with name, address and emergency contact,” said Theresa Jamula, Wyandotte’s recreation technician. “Once they register, we give them a card, and there’s a little plastic holder and they put it on the refrigerator.”

The file contains a variety of medical information, ranging from medical history, to a doctor’s name, prescriptions, dosages, blood type, preferred hospital, special conditions, medical insurance information and more.

“It’s in the computer that they have a File of Life, so (first responders) go directly to the refrigerator. They don’t have to dig in their wallets. It’s all right there,” Jamula said. “I just think in an emergency, the quicker the responders can address an issue, this could be a lifesaver.”

The form measures about 5 1/2 by 11 inches and folds into a magnet container. There is also an 8- by 3 1/2-inch card available that fits into a 2 1/2 inch by 3-and-a-half inch holder to store in a purse, wallet or vehicle.

“We request they fill it out in pencil because dosages change, illnesses change,” Jamula said. “It’s not just senior citizens. If you have five people in the household, it’d just be good for everybody. Each person should be registered and have their own card filled out.”

The files are free to residents at the Wyandotte Police Department, 2015 Biddle Ave., or Yack Recreation Center, 3131 Third Street, during regular business hours. Novi-based ITCTransmission funded the program.

Not every city has the File of Life program, but many can participate in the ICE program, which asks residents to put an entry into their cell phones labeled “ICE,” followed by an identifier such as “Mom” or a friend’s or spouse’s name.

“It’s pretty simple, but that’s what makes it so great,” said Michael Mizzi, Allen Park city clerk. “If anything does happen to me, I’d want my wife to know.”

The city is also handing out small gold stickers residents can stick on the back of their cell phones to let first responders know they have an ICE entry saved in their address book. Allen Park resident Don Graham donated the stickers, which are going fast.

“We have so many people coming in, we’re down to our last roll,” Mizzi said. “They’re probably one of the best things because it lets first responders, police or fire know you have that in your phone. They can call and the person they’re calling might know if you have a certain allergy.”

The free stickers are available at the City Clerk’s Office inside City Hall, 16850 Southfield Road.

(Contact Chris Jackett at cjackett@bewickpublications.com)