6/03/02 - LifeLine Response Systems

Emergency help is always a phone call away, but for some it's not that easy. What if you couldn't get to the phone to make the call? A service in Southern Illinois is helping those people with LifeLine personal response systems. MilAnne Davis has had one for over a year now. She had to put it to the test recently, when she had no where else to go for help.

"I could have screamed my head off and no one would have heard me," MilAnne says. A few weeks ago, MilAnne had a big scare. "I was in the closet looking for clothes and my knee buckled and I went down," MilAnne says. "I broke three bones in my foot, and one in my leg."

MilAnne has severe arthritis. She also lives alone. When she fell, she wasn't able to reach the phone, and could have been stranded without help for hours. But her personal LifeLine response system saved her time, and a lot of pain. By the simple push of a button on a necklace she wears everyday, MilAnne was able to get help in a matter of minutes.

Emergency dispatchers heard a loud alarm when MilAnne pushed the button. Pushing the button activates a communicator, that's hooked up to a phone line in a person's home. The call goes directly to a local ambulance service, where someone is there, 24/7 to answer the call. Marion Memorial Auxiliary member J.C. Jones says, "It gives people the ability to live in their own home and it gives their children comfort that they're just a LifeLine away."

MilAnne will be in a wheelchair for at least four more weeks, a small price to pay for what she thinks could have been a lot worse, if she didn't have her LifeLine. "I know if I push that button I'm going to get help, that's a secure feeling," MilAnne says.

Marion Memorial Hospital Auxiliary members are in charge of installing LifeLines in homes. The Auxiliary does charge 15 dollars a month for the lifelines, and there's a one time hook up fee of ten dollars.