Vital information cards to be delivered to Salem baby boomers in effort to save lives

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SALEM (WSLS 10) -- Every second counts in an emergency.

"We take a lot of time trying to find out their health history find out what medications they're on," said Salem Fire EMS Chief John Prillaman.

It takes time for emergency responders to gather all the information before heading to the hospital. It's the reason John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home went to the City of Salem Fire and EMS Department with an idea to help the process.

"Our Salem Fire and Rescue, they are our lifeline in our community," said Cathie Thomas. "What would we do without them?"

John M. Oakey & Son, in conjunction with the city, is giving every city of Salem resident, age 55 and older, a medical information dry erase memo board. One side can be used for notes and reminders, while the other can be used to enter vital information that could help a medical responder assess their patient when he needs it most.

"The information is vital. We have a lot of drugs we can given her ambulances and we need to know what drugs that person might be taking, what medication they're on so that we make sure we get the right medication to them when in route to the hospital," said Prillaman.

A bright yellow window sticker will also be included in each packet sent to Salem residents that should be attached to an outside door or window in order to let emergency responders know the information available in the home. The boards should be displayed on a magnetic surface or other visual location in the kitchen. It will be accessible to emergency responders in the event a homeowner is unable to speak, or recall the information.

"This will make sure they don't have to do this by memory," Prillaman said. "It'll have all their medication, will have their allergies, have the things that are very pertinent to us right there at easy access."

Thomas says it's a way for John M. Oakey & Son to give back to the community.

"We're hoping that the community will embrace this project and use it because it's going to be instrumental in helping them."

The 4,500 packets will be distributed by mail in the next two weeks.