First responders use phone feature to help save lives

Medical ID App for your phone

DEXTER Mo. (KFVS) - According to some Heartland first responders, a feature on your smart phone could save your life.

“Medical ID” shows information about your health, especially important if you’re ever unresponsive or unable to communicate.

“Everybody never thinks it’s going to happen to them until it’s done,” said Quentin Goode, Stoddard County Ambulance District EMT and Strike Team.

He’s referring to needing emergency medical assistance for any reason. That’s when the “Medical ID” phone feature comes in handy for first responders.

“You pretty much are going into it blind. So not knowing any of the patient’s information, whether their allergic to something to any medication that we’d be giving in route," he said.

Captain Jamie Holcomb, EMD, EMT-B for Stoddard County, described it like a tech-savvy medical bracelet.

“In the event that a person’s unresponsive, this can be a vast amount of knowledge into a person’s medical history,” said Holcomb.

The patient’s blood type is one thing both Goode and Holcomb said is important for EMTs to know.

“If he needs blood or plasma or whatever at the hospital, then they’ll be able to receive it and have it ready when you arrive with your patient due to long transports out here in the county,” said Goode.

If you have an iPhone, the “Medical ID” is found in the “Health” app. Android users need to download a free app called “Medical ID.” You can then put in information like your medical conditions, allergies, blood type, and emergency contacts.

“I think that the more people that know that. The better,” said Holcomb.

“Personally, I have used this four times now. Two of the which the people have had it filled out, two of which they have not. So you just have to go off what they have in their wallet on scene,” said Goode.

The feature also notifies your emergency contacts after calling 911 and shares your location with them.

“Absolutely lifesaving," said Holcomb.

It can also be used when crews respond to natural disaster emergencies.

If you’re a bystander of an accident or call 911 for someone you’re with, you can open the “Medical ID” and give that information to the dispatcher who can then tell first responders on their way to the scene.

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