Tony Trombetta's parents like to travel.
"But my dad has a serious heart condition," he said. "If ever there is an emergency, I want first responders to have my father's medical history at the ready, so they can accurately treat him."
To that end, Trombetta and his wife started 4iCEid, a service that gives first responders immediate access to someone's pertinent medical information during an emergency.
How it works is simple: particpators input their medical information into 4iCEid's secure online database - allergies, past surgeries, emergency contacts, hospital preference, almost anything.
Each person is licensed a PIN printed on an ID Card, sticker or key fob. First responders can use that PIN to retrieve someone's information within seven seconds using a cellphone or computer.
Ideally, this could occur inside the ambulance en route to the site of an emergency.
"It's perfect for non-responsive patients," Trombetta said.
Trombetta is a marketing executive for 4iCEid, while his wife, Janet, who's been in the nursing profession for 19 years, owns the company, which is based in Pittston Township.
"We started this thing from a selfish perspective really," Trombetta said. "We wanted to make sure that no matter where my parents go, they can conveniently take their medical history with them."
Recently, the company partnered with Clinton and Brady townships in Lycoming County to offer the service to the residents there - at no cost for eight months.
The first six months is funded through Act 13 impact fee money, while the rest is being provided by 4iCEid. The service's name is an acronym, of sorts, meaning "for in case of emergency ID."
Todd Winder, chief of the Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Co., saw the potential of the service and helped convince township supervisors to support it.
"I felt that it was something that could really help us, and members of the fire department agreed," he said. "Here was a great technology that could help us perform our jobs. The only question was, how do we get it into the hands of the public?"
Winder gave presentations to the supervisors from both townships over several months. Once they approved the trial period, two enrollment sessions were held in late November, one at the Clinton Township Fire Station and the other at the Brady Township Municipal Building. A third was held last week.
Turnout was low for both, Winder said, citing weather as the cause. But he hopes help from the Montgomery School District will raise awareness. Students there have developed a video that shows the benefits of the program.
As of right now, residents of those townships can sign up through the websites of 4iCEid and the Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Co. Once the free trial is up, the service costs $1.99 a month for the first person in a household, and $1 per month for every other person.
Winder hopes there is a way to fund it permanently for everyone in both townships.
"It's amazing how much a parent knows about their child until the emotions take over during an emergency and they can't concentrate," he said.
"We run into that a lot," Winder continued. "We once dealt with an elderly gentleman who had difficulty hearing. His spouse, daughters and son were all there and none of them could tell us the medications he was on. His pharmacist had taken the pills out and put them in an organizer so it was impossible for us to tell what the pills were. That was a wake-up call."