Envelopes of life is a program of Pittsburgh Emergency Medical Services that provides vital life-saving information to paramedics in the event of an emergency.
Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak learned of the program and decided to partner with them to provide the envelopes to the elderly in her district.
“When you respond to a 911 call and someone is passed out, you literally have a few seconds to make a determination of what needs to be done,” Rudiak said. “Whether you have a heart condition, diabetes, or allergies, the envelope makes a difference. Those few seconds can add up to life or death."
Rudiak visited senior centers and high-rises in her district and distributed the packages, which included an envelope, a medical form, a magnet clip for the refrigerator, and a sticker for the front door to alert emergency responders of the Envelope.
Mary Lou Wertz attended a session with Rudiak and the public safety personnel at in Brookline.
“I took one for my mother who’s going to be 90 years old soon,” Wertz said. “The paramedics answered a lot of questions and everyone enjoyed Councilwoman Rudiak and her pierogies."
Katie Judge is an Americorps volunteer at Seton Center who took part in the session.
“It seems like a very good back up. Not everyone carries a medical bracelet. The envelope is good thing to have,” Judge said.
Many assisted living centers have a system in place that is similar to the envelope.
“A lot of these places actually said they were going to switch to the envelope system because it is more universal and comprehensive than what they had. It was good to get everyone on the same page about how we’re assisting seniors,” Rudiak said.
The envelopes are available here or by contacting Pittsburgh Emergency Medical Service at 412-622-6930.