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Officials Say Just A Few Minutes Now Makes A Difference In An Emergency

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More than 10-million people have signed up for the state’s Emergency Contact Information System. It lets drivers add information to their licenses, giving the name and phone number of someone they’d want police to call in an emergency. Christine Olson spearheaded the initiative after her daughter was killed in an accident. Hours after her daughter arrived at the hospital, Olson received a call from her son. Both raced to the hospital.

"And highway patrol came up to me and they said ‘sorry she is gone.’ And I don’t know what clicked in, but I said ‘well, where is she where did she go.’ And they said ‘well we presume she’s with the medical examiner, but they’re closed you can call them in the morning. Can you sign for this.’ And it was a bag of her belongings from the accident,” Olson says.

Olson says she doesn't want anyone else to experience that, and she says preventing it is easy

"If you just go online to or the state of Florida and click the emergency contact link, this will literally take you under two minutes,” Olson says.

Olson says that information is added to the magnetic strip on the back of driver’s licenses. And she says police are trained to scan that and call any listed contacts in the case of an emergency.

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 |

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