Making a health emergency plan? Make E.R.I.K. a part of it

Emergency Response Information Kit (E.R.I.K.)

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Heart attacks, seizures and other medical emergencies can happen anytime. Do you have a plan for health emergencies? One good tool that should be a part of this plan is an E.R.I.K.

What is an E.R.I.K.?

E.R.I.K. means Emergency Response Information Kit. It provides important health information. Emergency personnel can look for it in an emergency. The information will help them correctly and quickly respond to the medical situation.

What is in the kit?

It contains:

  1. A health information form. You can fill it out with the following information:
    • your name
    • address
    • health card number
    • next of kin
    • family physician
    • medical history
    • allergies
    • medications
  2. A place to insert your Health Care Directive.
  3. Blue organ donor card (not mandatory).
  4. A sticker for the front entrance of your house. This tells paramedics to look for your E.R.I.K.
  5. A plastic folder.
  6. A magnet to hold the information packet on your refrigerator door.

You can update the information on your kit as your medical needs change. For example, your doctor can change your medication or you can have new allergies.

If you have the kit and need to update information, you can download a blank form from: ERIK Health Information Form. You can also go to this page on the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service site.

Who should have E.R.I.K.?

The kit is ideal for:

  1. seniors
  2. chronically ill persons
  3. those who live alone or have caregivers
  4. those with speech or language difficulties
  5. travellers

How do newcomers benefit from it?

It can help everyone, especially those with medical conditions. However, it is ideal for newcomers who can’t speak in English or French. They can ask their family doctor for help in filling out their E.R.I.K form. All they need to do in an emergency is to hand the E.R.I.K. to emergency responders. This means less stress and worry.

Who made the E.R.I.K.

A Winnipeg paramedic, Janice Johnson created E.R.I.K. in 2002. She drafted it together with the Boni-Vital Council for Seniors, community agencies, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services, and the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association.

Emergency responders, fire fighters, police, those working with seniors and health care professionals know about the E.R.I.K. Area emergency groups recommend it. In fact, the E.R.I.K. has saved many lives in the province.

Where do I get it? Is it for free?

It is for free and you can get it from:

  1. All Seniors Community Resource Councils in the province.
  2. Any Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Station.
  3. Agencies can purchase kits through local resource councils.

Article updated April 15, 2020.
Sources: Seniors Resource Network, WRHA, and the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

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Community Resources

Learn more about preparing for and dealing with health emergencies, read What to do in a health emergency.

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