State Rep. Rosanna Gabaldón pushed through a bill in the 2019 legislative session that she hopes will help save lives by providing emergency responders with critical health information at accident scenes.
HB 2532, signed into law by Gov. Ducey on May 27, takes effect Aug. 27.
The new law allows voluntary programs to be set up that would place decals on the upper left corner of a vehicle’s rear window alerting first responders that a yellow envelope containing a health information card is in the glove compartment. The card would have a name, emergency contact information, recent surgeries, allergies, medications and the name of their physician.
“When you go into the doctor’s office, you’re able to converse with the doctor. Some of these people don’t have that capability, they’re unconscious… and (the program) gives first responders the information needed to treat (someone) in a car accident,” said Gabaldón, a Democrat from Sahuarita.
Cities, towns and counties that set up programs can charge a fee to those who wish to enroll. There isn’t a set amount, but Gabaldón said she hopes it won’t exceed $5.
Emergency responders won’t be legally responsible for damage to a vehicle when looking for the yellow envelope. The bill also states emergency responders will not be responsible for any civil damages resulting from any incorrect or outdated information on the health information card.
The ultimate goal, Gabaldón said, is to save lives by reducing the time it takes for emergency responders to administer proper treatment to accident victims.
Ideally, emergency responders will be able to get into contact with someone’s primary care physician, who might be able to better advise proper treatment for an individual in a car accident, she said.