In June, New Britain Emergency Medical Services, Inc. began a first in the state program to help save more lives. The program, called “Invisible Bracelets”, makes much needed information on an injured person available to EMS personnel faster.
An invisible bracelet, is not worn by someone. It is a sticker. It can be on a keyfob, on a helmet, on a driver’s license, health ID tag or any place, an EMS can easily find it.
“The main goal of an invisible bracelet is to make things easier for the medics and the patients,” said Melissa Healy, program manager. “The bracelet will speak for the person when they cannot speak for themself.”
According to David Koscuk, captain of support services of NB EMS, for many years the number one means of gaining basic information was what was found in a file on a refrigerator. Many times, those files are not up to date and take time to look through. This system uploads easily onto an EMS computer.
“This system allows you to be sure your information is up to date. EMS personnel do not have to try to understand your handwriting,” said Koscuk. “And, regardless of which language you speak, the information can be understood.”
Therefore, which medications you take, what you are allergic to, who your doctors are, your emergency contacts names, family history, immunizations and more are readily available.
“Everything the paramedics need to know to properly treat a patient will be accessible to them,” said Healy. “This saves a great deal of time in a real emergency. With a large Hispanic and Polish population in New Britain, the language barrier can be quite a problem. Not every EMT is bilingual and the Invisible Bracelet could really help out.”
Another benefit to the invisible bracelet is when a person registers for it on-line, they can add up to 10 “in case of emergency” (ICE) contacts.
This allows a message sent via text message or email to go out immediately to those on the list notifying them you are on the way to the hospital.
The cost of the invisible bracelet stickers are $5 a year. Registration is available online at www.invisiblebracelet.org or an EMS representative can help you register and put the information in the computer for you.
Ten percent of costs go back to the New Britain EMS in order to continue the program. The program became available with the help of an American Savings Foundation Grant.
EMS representatives have been working with groups from the Jerome Home, Monsignor Bojnowski and the New Britain Senior Center to begin this program.
Koscuk said employers are its next focus as a way to better help residents.
“New Britain is the first one in the state of Connecticut to have this program,” said Koscuk. “It is very popular in the west coast. Any EMS anywhere that has this program will be able to help someone quicker through this program.”
For more information on invisible bracelets, contact Healy at 860-351-0180.