MOUNT CARMEL — When it comes to an emergency, time is always of the essence.

One local business is attempting to save time and lives by sponsoring a smartphone app called Vital ICE.

“We just wanted to present the community with an opportunity to use this potentially life-saving app,” said Shaun Keepes, owner of Keepes Funeral Home.

Vital ICE, which stands for in case of emergency, housings all of your health data in one convenient place. Allergies, blood type, medical history and emergency contacts can all be entered into the app to assist first responders in emergency situations. It also can store health data for dependents and information for caregivers of senior citizens, such as when to take medications.

“As a dad, going to the doctors office it’s nice to have everything in one place and easy to keep track of the kids’ medical records,” Keepes said. 

Local emergency alerts can also be sent through the app from fire departments, police or other first responders. By calling 9-1-1 through the app, the GPS coordinates of your phone will be sent directly to first responders so you can be found. In addition, there is a button to sound an alarm to make it easier for first responders to find you in hard to see situations and another button to send a text to everyone in your emergency contact group.

“My dad can set me up as a contact and if he feels he is having trouble he can hit that button,” Keepes said.

Wabash General Hospital, the local fire and police departments have all been made aware of the new technology. Stickers to put on phones to alert first responders of the app’s presence can be picked up at Keepes Funeral Home.

“Several people in the community have already thanked us for sponsoring it,” Keepes said. “We are happy to be able to do this for the community we serve. It is our hope that by providing this opportunity, lives can be saved.”

The funeral home sponsored the app so it is free of charge to all Wabash County residents. To download the app, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play, and enter in code “5300” for free access.

For more information about the Vital ICE app, visit the Keepes Funeral Home Facebook Page and click “Videos.”

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