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Life saving magnet gives medics access to medical history

MONTGOMERY, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- The Montgomery Fire Dept. has a new magnet that could help paramedics save a patient's life.

The EMS Signpost magnet was designed by Cincinnati company EC Link. It's a refrigerator magnet that contains a computer chip and is marked with a QR code.

A resident who signs up for the magnet will create a profile on the website ""  A paramedic can scan the magnet with a smartphone which will cause the patient's medical history, including allergies, advanced directives and medications.

"This is the first of its kind and we're the prototype," said Fire Dept. Chief Paul Wright. Chief Wright calls EMS Signpost "A calm voice in a crisis."

The medical information can only be accessed by paramedics that have the password to the Caring Ties website. Family members can also enter the information for a loved one.

"If you have an elderly mother or father or both that aren't that good with the computer and that you, as a care provider, could be local or you could live in California and you could get on the website and update that information for them," Chief Wright said.

Julie Nies lives in Montgomery and works for the city. She is one of the 50 people who signed up for the EMS Signpost program.
"It's definitely peace of mind. They can bring up this information and bring it straight to the hospital," Nies said.

The magnets are free. The city bought the program for $3,000.  Chief Wright hopes EMS Signpost will help paramedics treat patients more quickly.
"It just helps to get better care where you know their whole history and what medications they're on," Wright said.

The magnets are only available to residents of Montgomery. But the company that developed it is reaching out to other municipalities to see if they'd like to use the program.

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