THE Isle of Man Lions’ Club is giving away free bottles - nothing to do with alcohol but possibly more useful.
The small plastic emergency bottles, which contain vital information for emergency services should the holder be taken ill or suffer an accident, are being promoted by the Lions’ Club which gives them away free on request.
The original initiative, which started about 10 years ago was fronted by comedian Norman Wisdom.
Dennis Kneale of the Isle of Man Lions said: ‘We are keen to keep everyone informed. Since we started and publicised it there may be new people who do not know about it.
‘It’s reassuring for the public to know the information is there and available. It’s also hack-proof and it’s completely confidential right up to the point where it’s actually used.’
Mr Kneale said the bottle came with two stickers - one for the front door and one for the fridge door.
‘The idea is that if the emergency services are called to someone who has collapsed at home, they see the sticker on the front door and know there is a bottle containing useful information in the fridge.
‘We tell people to put it in the fridge because it is a convenient place to find it and if there is a fire, the contents of the fridge are likely to survive.
‘But we supply a second sticker to put on the fridge door because in these days of integrated kitchen units, it’s not always obvious which is the fridge!’
The bottle can also be carried around in a pocket, or for women in their handbag, when people go out.
Mr Kneale said since the death of Norman Wisdom they had looked for another public figure to endorse the scheme and had approached Ann Widdecombe, a Lions’ Club member at the Palace of Westminster who agreed to lend her name to the campaign.
The idea is for emergency services to offer first aid more quickly by having all relevant information immediately to hand.
The forms contained in the bottles include a range of information in addition to basics like the person’s name, date of birth and address. It also records allergies, medication, doctor’s details and an emergency contact.
In the past 10 years the Lions’ Message in a Bottle scheme has seen almost 11,000 of the bottles distributed.
The bottles are available from a number of sources, including Noble’s Hospital and Ramsey Cottage Hospital. They are also stocked by some doctors’ surgeries, Age Isle of Man and Manx Blind Welfare at Jack Corrin Court.
In additiion they are available direct from the Lions’ club by calling 661838.