Message in a Bottle

As a young girl I enjoyed walking along the waters edge of any beach dipping my toes in the water from time to time. Thoughts of finding a bottle with a message in it seemed so romantic. In those early days the beaches were on the east coast of Ireland so any hope of bottles coming ashore from some exotic sun drenched island were rather farcical. I suppose if I was to find such a bottle it would have more lightly come from over the side of the boat from Dublin to Holyhead!

Today I have a message in a bottle. In fact I have had it for a year now. I keep in safely in my fridge. The fridge is an unusual place to keep a message, but this one is special. It is more a clear plastic container than a bottle and stands about 12cms tall with a strong plastic lid. The note inside contains a photograph and personal details of the individual concerned. It was given to me by a friend.

The bottle came with a sheet of instructions and three stickers. So what is it all about? It is part of the Emergency Information Scheme. This is a voluntary scheme intended for use by any person whilst living at home. The scheme provides the Emergency Services with the vital details of any illness or allergy you may suffer from, medication you may be taking and the name of a person to be contacted in the event of you suffering a sudden illness or personal accident.

How does it work? Your details are stored on an A5 sheet of paper, in a plastic container, which is kept in your fridge. The three special stickers are known to the Emergency Services and other caring agencies.

You need to complete the form in biro/ballpoint pen and place it in the container. Then attach the large sticker to the outside of the container and store it in the fridge. Next you put a small sticker on the outside of the fridge and keep it uncovered. Put the other sticker on an inside door or panel within the hallway, where it can easily be seen.

I decided not to put the stickers on my fridge and hall panel as they were, because if I moved or needed to replace the fridge I would lose them. Therefore I had them laminated and put a magnet on the back of the one for the fridge and used ‘Bluetac’ for the other one. So if I move they move with me.

I particularly like the last two questions. Are you a Carer? If so there is space to put the details of a person who relies on you for daily care. And the last one is: Do you have pets, if yes how many and what type?

Do you know somebody who might find this scheme useful? Then I suggest you contact your local, Emergency Services, Police, or the next Politician who calls at your door looking for your vote!

I am attaching a copy of the form and you might be able to print it off and use it. I hope you never NEED to.

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7 thoughts on “Message in a Bottle

  1. So, Grannymar, you are supposed to keep this valuable information about your health in the refrigerator? For the Rescue Squad to find when you are in the middle of a serious “incident”.Well, I wish them luck finding that bottle in my frig. First,they would have to clear away the turkey carcass that has been in there since Thanksgiving Day last November. At this point I am just keeping it as a pet and throw it food once in a while. Then there is the bowl of potatoes that are covered in green fuzz.They were delicious a few weeks ago and it would be wasteful to dispose of them before they were completely inedible!! And the 12 boxes of leftovers from various and sundry restaurants. Oh,yes, they would have a time of it at my house, trying to find valuable information regarding my ailments and medications.So, I have determined that if we ever get this scheme here in America, I will tape my info to the frig door and save the poor rescue guys the traumatic experience of opening my frig door and having that turkey looking at them for HELP!!!!!

  2. Nancy you havce put me off turkey sambos for life!I keep the bottle in an eye level pocket of the door.The idea of the stickers are to notify them to look for the info. So when they break down my door they will see sticker no 1 and go straight to the fridge, after picking me up of course!

  3. This is a great idea and I’m definately going to research this. Question though- what is perishable about the bottle that it needs to be refridgerated? You can put it in the medicine cabinet can’t you? I too have nancy’s problem re. throwing slightly hairy but otherwise good food out…

  4. Hi K8,There is nothing perishable about the bottle. The bottle keeps the paperwork and photo dry. I think the idea behind it is everyone has a fridge and it is easy to find in the kitchen. The medicine cabinet can be in any room.. Some folk don’t bother with one.I live alone, and if a time comes that the emergency services have to break the door down to get me, the bottle has all the information needed – that is so long as I keep it updated.

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