Tom Force lost the chance to say good-bye to his mother in January, 2010 when she suffered a burst aneurysm. Seven hours passed before the family was called, simply because no one knew whom to contact. Tom created I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) Keytags to give first responders the contact information they need to spare others the same fate.
Tom Force is still saddened by the lost chance his family members had to say good bye to his late mother. She lived in a seniors’ complex, seemingly in good health. When her neighbors found her unconscious after suffering from a burst brain aneurysm, she was rushed to the hospital, and hours later slipped into a fatal coma.
Tom regrets the 7 hours that passed before the hospital called, hours he and his family could have spent with her. A lost chance simply because no one knew whom to contact. Tom recalls this experience in an interview by Sr. Editor Mike Taylor and explains the I.C.E. Keytags and how they came into being.
Asked about the origin of the I.C.E. Keytag, Tom said, “It was the result of my personal concern with the way things played out with my own Mom. In the time lost contacting us, we would have had a chance to say good-bye to her. Also, my daughter worked late night shifts at a restaurant. I wondered what would happen if she was in an accident on the way home at 3 in the morning? Would anyone call if she was hurt, or would we wake up in the morning and find her not there?”
“I didn’t sleep well at nights”, says Tom.
Tom came up with the I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) Keytag as the perfect way to put emergency contact information literally into the hands of an emergency responder. In case of an auto accident, when first responders reach in to turn off the ignition, the distinctive key tag is right there on the keyring. It alerts police or paramedics quickly and accurately as to whom to call immediately on behalf of the injured..
Tom said, “We found (his mother’s) keys on the kitchen table. What if I.C.E. Keytags had come along a few years earlier? What if we had given the paramedics or one of her concerned neighbors a fighting chance of finding my sister’s phone number at 9am – rather than 4pm? Having those few hours with her would have been priceless.”
Most people think that a driver’s license, insurance or bank card is all they need for identity, but Tom points out, “Emergency personnel are busy working on YOU! They work hard to track down next of kin, but there is no “system” to do so. Most people have nothing with them that plainly states whom to call if they are in trouble. Further complicating the process is that your cell phone may be lost, broken or locked, the address on your license may be incorrect, and your emergency contact may live somewhere else.
The I.C.E. Keytag, with its prominent “I.C.E.” logo (a Registered U.S. Trademark), has other applications. “People are on the go”, said Tom. “They’re out jogging, biking, running, golfing – one of these on your backpack, bike, in your sneaker laces or on golf bag could help to save your life. A call to your emergency contact might provide some information which first responders might find critical.”
The company website also has a free, downloadable ‘Emergency Information Form’ that you can print and carry in your auto’s glove box, backpack, luggage, or tape to the inside of your medicine cabinet “It is a single place to put critical instructions to someone helping you if you are incapacitated”, said Tom. “If you could wake up for a moment– and speak to the paramedics, whatever critical info you would tell them (allergies, medical complications, prescriptions, etc) – it should go on that form.” The website also offers bright red decals that alert EMTs to your EMS Info Form in your vehicle.
Tom is proud of the impact this American made product is having on businesses, charities and the public. “There are countless people who now know that if their young driver, college student, elderly parent, or anyone else they care about is in a serious accident and hospitalized, the simple I.C.E. Keytag gives them a much greater chance of finding out quickly!” He adds, “What if you are a single parent, or have pets who count on you to return? How do you know your “backup person” will be notified? The I.C.E. Keytag gives you a much better chance.”
Tom has partnered with businesses and non-profits in 30 states to facilitate widespread distribution. Custom branding of the I.C.E. Keytags allows businesses to give a powerful marketing piece to their customers, while animal rescue shelters and other charities can promote their cause. “Business owns say they can’t wait to give them away, and fund-raisers have something of value to offer for donations. We help people remember”, Tom said.
Stephanie Miller, independent I.C.E. Keytag representative said, “My clients love them. They love everything about them. They focus on the emergency notification aspect and are giving their customer base something that helps them in a time of need”. She added, “They provide peace of mind for your customers and their families. You can’t get any better.”
Tom’s veteran-owned company stepped up when a local non-profit was raising funds for a 9-11 themed memorial. “We created “We Will Never Forget” I.C.E. Keytags and passed them out at the local 9-11 10th anniversary observance. We let people throw money into the hat, and raised $2,600 for their cause. This is not just a trinket – it will be of value and always on their keyring..and they always WILL remember”, said Tom.
To learn more about Tom Force and ICE Keytags visit http://TheIceKeytag.com/