Shaun Koopman, SRD protective services coordinator, and SRD Chair Michele Babchuk display the new LIFE Kits available through the regional district. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Strathcona Regional District has LIFE Kits to help save lives

Resident pitched idea to SRD about making senior’s health info available in crisis

Information can be critical in midst of a crisis, so the Strathcona Regional District’s emergency program is rolling out a new program to help provide answers.

The program officers items called LIFE Kits for residents in the area, and it is part of an initiative to provide safety and education throughout the community.

Each LIFE Kit contains an information sheet that residents can fill out to provide First Responders with vital information on anyone in the home in the event they cannot unable to speak for themselves. There are spaces for medical history, emergency contacts, medications, vital patient statistics and advanced medical directives. The kits also contain two stickers and one magnet that reads ‘LIFE KIT.’ Residents can place one sticker on the entrance to alert First Responders that a LIFE Kit is available, and the second sticker or magnet on a refrigerator where the actual LIFE Kit is kept.

“LIFE Kits are going to help BCEHS provide direct care for the patient in the most appropriate manner,” says SRD Chair Michele Babchuk. “We’re working to roll this out to the community, and we’ve had great support from BCEHS who really think that this program is going to help them immensely.”

The LIFE Kits are free for residents and can be picked up at various locations throughout the regional district or during outreach events.

“The program is not limited to the senior population” says Shaun Koopman, SRD protective services coordinator. “Our long-term goal is to have the program available in every household throughout the regional district.”

READ MORE: SRD emergency notification system testing will happen Jan. 31

Resident Dennis Garneau pitched the idea to Koopman after hearing from his sister in Kimberley that her community had been using similar information kits for a couple of years.

“I thought this is perfect for senior communities,” he says.

Giving First Responders a head start with potentially life-saving information, right on someone’s door, sounded like a great idea to Garneau.

“They would know what they’re dealing with before they even got inside,” he says. “I thought this has got to be good for the seniors for sure.”

Koopman said First Responders have always been taught to look for medications in refrigerators, but the kits can provide them with answers quickly, especially if someone is not able to communicate during a health emergency.

“Dennis showed it to me. I loved the idea, and here we are,” he says. “This is why emergency management works so well in Campbell River…. There are people like Dennis at the grassroots that bring these things to my attention, and I’ve gotten awesome support from our elected officials.”

Residents can pick up their LIFE Kits at the following locations:

Campbell River – Campbell River Community Centre – 401 11 Ave.

Campbell River – Campbell River Sportsplex – 1800 South Alder St.

Campbell River – Strathcona Regional District Office – #103 – 990 Cedar St.

Campbell River – Strathcona Gardens Recreation Centre – 225 South Dogwood St.

Cortes Island – Cortes Island Health Centre – 941 Beasley Rd. (Manson’s Landing)

Gold River – Gold River Health Centre – 601 Trumpeter Dr.

Quadra Island – Quadra Circle’s Office – 654 Harper Rd. (Quathiaski Cove)

Sayward – Village of Sayward Office 651-A H’Kusam Way

Sayward – Kelsey Recreation Centre – 652-A H’Kusam Way

Tahsis – Village of Tahsis Office – 285 Alpine View

Zeballos – Village of Zeballos Office – 157 Maquinna Ave.

There has already been strong response at some sites, such as Strathcona Gardens, which Koopman has already had to restock. For more information, contact the SRD at 250-830-6700 or look for LIFE Kits at srd.ca//

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