Pittsburgh Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak is trying to keep seniors a bit safer in an emergency. She has been visiting senior centers and high rises for the last few weeks handing out “Envelopes of Life.” In the envelope is a form that includes lines for the senior’s name, age, medical conditions, medications, doctors and more. “In those moments when you may be in an emergency, every single second counts and when a medic or other first responder is searching around in your purse or in the vicinity for any medications that might be causing a problem, that is vital time that is lost,” says Rudiak.
The envelope comes with a sticker to go on your door to alert emergency crews to look for the envelope and a magnet to use to hang the envelope on the refrigerator. City emergency response crews are trained to look for the data and some suburban crews take part in the same training. Rudiak suggests the envelopes are not just for seniors. She has one on her fridge and thinks anyone taking medication or with a medical condition, should have one as well.
You can get an envelope by contacting Rudiak’s office (412-255-2131) or the Emergency Medical Services Headquarters (412-622-6930.) You can also download one of the forms and make your own envelope.
Rudiak will be handing out envelopes and talking about the program at the Carrick Regency at 4pm today and at Gualtieri Manor in Beechview at 2pm Thursday the 10th.