Imagine being involved in a vehicle collision. At that moment, fear and confusion can set in, and an injury or loss of consciousness may occur. Emergency responders arriving at the scene need to know your medical history, medications, allergies, and much more, but injuries may make it difficult to respond. Thankfully, the Safety on Scene (S.O.S.) Medical Information Program created by Charlotte County Fire & EMS and sponsored by Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda provides emergency responders the information they need for rapid care during an emergency.
The S.O.S. program, offered free of charge to Charlotte County residents, provides valuable medical information to emergency personnel in a portable and convenient format that travels with the owner. Charlotte County emergency responders are alerted to program participants by the S.O.S. sticker placed on the back of the vehicle’s rearview mirror. The sticker leads responders to a zippered pouch attached to the ignition key ring. The SOS zipper pouch holds the S.O.S. form containing pertinent medical information including: medical history, medications, allergies, doctor’s name, emergency contact and possible do not resuscitate orders, living will or organ donation requests.
To participate in the program, pick up an S.O.S. Program packet at:
Each SOS zippered pouch includes the SOS rearview mirror sticker and the medical information card. After filling out and placing the medical information card in the zippered pouch, attach the SOS sticker to the back of the vehicle’s rearview mirror, and then attach the pouch to the owner’s vehicle keys.
“By partnering with Charlotte County Fire & EMS to bring new energy to the S.O.S. program, we hope more residents are encouraged to participate in this valuable, lifesaving program,” says Richard H. Satcher, Market CEO of Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda.
“Residents participating in the Safety On Scene Program are providing important medical information to emergency responders, saving valuable time on scene. The program also provides a rapid transfer of information to emergency flight nurses as well as local hospitals and trauma centers.” says Dee Hawkins-Garland, Charlotte County Fire & EMS.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Charlotte County reported 2,241 vehicle crashes in 2014. Charlotte County Fire & EMS emergency responders remind citizens to drive safety, avoid distracted driving, and be prepared for the unexpected. Some collisions may not be avoided, but one can be prepared for the unexpected by participating in the S.O.S., Safety On Scene Medical Information Program.