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CERQL review | an online emergency contact information service
Scenario: You crashed, you’re unconscious and the local emergency services screech up and (you have to have a lot of sympathy with their issues at this point) have no idea who you are, whether you have any existing conditions that would make their ‘troubleshooting’ faster and easier. Access to accurate information when time is ‘of the essence’ can only ever be a good thing (from your point of view), Paramedics would be interested in existing conditions; the Police in the name, address, next-of-kin…
CERQL has developed an online service that aims to provide all of that – all accessible by a unique QR code. This code is printed on a small sticker that you attach to whatever you like – but logic dictates that it’s somewhere obvious – the front of the helmet (or back or side if you must) seems a favourite!
I was intrigued by the idea. I already have simple emergency details stuck to my helmet which is a simple piece of paper folded into a fold over plastic case. This case is cracking at the seams after 18 months and having taken the paper out that last week to check – the biro writing is beginning to be unreadable. So ok, I can replace the paper myself but the case cracking open and potentially losing the paper anyway negates the exercise… which is why having ‘it all’ online appealed to me. It’s a backup and more probable to be long term useful to the Emergency services…
I signed up at CERQL’s website and got two of them. I often have my 12 year old son riding pillion and I like the idea of my wife knowing what’s happened to him (if not me). Each new registration is £1.50 for a year and so £3 and 2 days later the stickers turned up in the morning post.
So CERQL recommends you follow the guidelines dictated by the Sussex Road Safety Partnership:
• National Health Service (NHS) Number •Driving Licence Number • Medical Conditions • Prescribed Medication • Allergies • Next of Kin contact details• Relationship to Next of Kin • Photo of user
I did Tweet them about putting in your Blood type (assuming you knew it) – and their response was that discussions with SSRP and Sussex Ambulance Service revealed that First Responders don’t carry all Blood types consequently it’s not deemed uber critical, but it’s definitely worth adding your Doctor’s details!
Got to say, that I didn’t add my Drivers’ license given that it actually has your name in the code, so I added my Christian name and having added a selfie (I feel sorry for everyone else who has to look at my ugly mug every day 🙂 ) I sent the details to their server.
I peeled off the sticker and attached it to my helmet. According to CIRQL it uses marine glue (to BS5609 standard), so abuse from the weather/rain should not affect the adhesive. Furthermore, the ink itself should last – their test subjects having been exposed to light for a little over 18 months with no degradation. So all good there.
All details are manually checked for integrity but a couple of days later, you can scan the code and keep reassure yourself that all is working and that the details are up-to-date.
There are other ways to do the same thing, and I’m not saying that this is better than anything else – but it does have some great advantages.
1. Permanently available to anyone with an Internet connection.
2. Not dependant on failures on plastic carriers etc
3. No biro ink – so cannot fade or get rubbed off with time.
4. Operators don’t need to try and decipher my writing…
5. System be used for anything; expensive items you travel with (smartphones, laptops, cameras, ski equipment etc)
6. They can even make the same system work in different formats; keyrings, wrist bands
7. You can have the stickers personalized with your logo – so appealing to Companies / Organisations / Clubs etc.
8. Set up your own translations – just in case you are travelling abroad.
Changes can be made online, at any time at £0.99p a go and they’ll email you when it’s time to renew your membership – which is also £0.99 per year.
Top idea, top marks!