CAP team spearheading USB ‘flash drive’ program for community

Brian Curry

A team from the SLFD’s Community Assistance Program has taken the lead in integrating a computer USB “flash drive” program that started as a class project in the Sun Lakes New adventures in Learning that will make a patient’s medical information easily accessible to SLFD medical crews in times of an emergency.

Betty Earp, a registered nurse and CAP member, said the idea was borne out of hearing repeated stories about medical histories that were either unattainable, outdated or confusing.

Earp began teaching classes on the project at the Sun Lakes New Adventures in Learning. In her classes students helped develop a pilot program that the Sun Lakes Fire Department heard about and saw as a way to be utilized on their emergency medical calls.

The small inexpensive flash drives (some are known as thumb drives or USB ports) will store all your pertinent medical information such as previous history, medications, allergies and doctors just to list some examples. A secondary page will list contact information.

“The beauty and simplicity of this program is that the paramedic can insert the flash drive into our electronic medical patient care reports which we already use and within seconds transfer the information onto it” said SLFD Battalion Chief Cheryl Van Horn who is overseeing the project.

Earp said, “This flash drive will be sold basically at cost ($5) by the Fire Department and the Community Assistance Program. In the coming months we will be reaching out to the community as a whole and the various service groups with informational speakers that will show the drive, explain how it works and how the ambulance crews will use it.”

Chief of the Department Paul Wilson said he envisions a day when the flash drives will be as popular as the department’s lock boxes, another device that helps save seconds when time counts.

The program is expected to kick off in the early fall. Watch for more detailed information in the October Splash.