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Ohio became the first state in the United States to create an Emergency Contact Database for it's residents.  Our family suffered a tragedy that spurred the creation of this valuable tool that allows you to be quickly found if a loved one is injured and unable to tell first responders how to find you!  Please take a second to read:

On February 11, 2007 at 2:30 AM, Steve Burge, Don and Linda Wuestenberg's son, was in a car accident.  The police were on the scene within ten minutes of the accident.  They dispatched the EMS and LifeFlight.  Steve was transported to OSU within an hour of the accident.  The Pickaway County Sheriff's Department was then charged with finding Steve's next of kin to notify us of his accident.

It was SEVEN hours before Steve's parent's were notified about their son's accident!  This is not the fault of the law enforcement agency.  They used the only bit of information they had available to them, which was the address on Steve's driver's license.  Steve lived by himself so when they went to his door there was no one there to notify about his accident.  His last name was different from his Mom's so they couldn't find her just looking through a phone book.

Take a second to read how his Mom was found.  This is NOT an unusual story!

Officers went to his house first, but of course no one was there.  Next, they looked up the address on his previous license addresses.  They drove to that address and found that no one there knew who he was.  They knocked on neighbor's doors to find out if anyone knew how to find Steve's family.  Finally, around 8:00 AM they were able to contact a neighbor who knew Steve. 
Just a total coincidence that this was the person who Steve had bought his house from and she had a key to his house.  She then entered his house (by the way, police were NOT allowed to go into the house!)  She found his cell phone and called the last call dialed.  That number was to a co-worker.  She talked to the co-worker who had no idea how to find Steve's family.  The co-worker then had to call their boss.  This was a Sunday morning.  The boss then had to go to his office and find Steve's next of kin information in his personnel record.  This poor man then had to deliver the message that Linda's son was in extremely critical condition at OSU Hospitals. 

Linda was informed of the accident at 9:45 AM which was seven hours after the accident. Stevie was in the ICU for seven hours alone before family could get there. Stevie B died from his injuries

If this initiative had been in effect, the first responder on the scene could have found his driver's license and would have been able to contact the two people listed in his Emergency Contact Information. In the case above Linda and her family could have met the ambulance at the hospital. 

 Go to www.OhioBMV.com to securely register YOUR emergency contact information