Licenses to feature emergency contact information
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -A new feature on Kentucky driver licenses makes it easier for emergency responders to get in touch with your loved ones in the case of an emergency.
Kentucky now allows people to add an emergency contact to their state ID, and first responders are hoping that more people will take advantage of it.
It’s often difficult for emergency responders to locate a person’s family or friends during a crisis. This can mean the loss of valuable time.
“Seconds matter especially in a medical emergency, so if someone is able to give us information when you can’t give your own information that would be a great benefit to all involved,” said Amelia Bowen, communications manager at the BGPD.
The emergency contact information is made immediately available to dispatchers whenever you call 911.
“So, when the dispatcher processes the drivers license information, we would get back the name and address of the individual plus any information that they have provided for next of kin contact,” said Bowen.
First responders have been talking with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet about the need for such a feature for a while.
“In the unfortunate event that somebody needs medical care, particularly during a crash or medical emergency…if they are not responsive in many cases, they don’t have a way to contact those people’s families,” said Wes Watt, Public Information Officer at Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 3.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet rolled out the new feature at the beginning of the year, but so far not many people have signed up for it.
“A lot of people just don’t know that it’s available. So, we just want to get the word out that this is available and its easy access. It just takes a couple of minutes,” said Watt.
It’s free to add an emergency contact to a current driver’s license, just visit drive.ky.gov.