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.