State authorities remind Utahns to update their emergency contacts

Sep 6, 2022, 6:53 PM | Updated: 8:23 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — If someone is injured and unable to reach help, one of the best ways for them to get help is through the state’s emergency contact list.

This emergency contacts resource has been available since 2012, but many Utahns don’t know about it.

“A lot of people still don’t know about it,” said Sgt. Cameron Roden, spokesperson for Utah’s Department of Public Safety.

Inside Utah’s DPS is the driver’s license division, where a lot of information is kept, including the phone numbers needed in case of an emergency.

“Being able to have those emergency contacts, we just never know when something could happen to us,” Roden explained.

He said that no trip to an office is required to get your contacts into the system. You can enter your two emergency contacts from your phone or computer.

But what about someone’s privacy?

“Law enforcement wants to make sure we use these resources in the way they’re intended,” Roden said.

Police can only access these contacts when the individual is in an emergency situation and can’t communicate with them or anyone else. And in those situations, Roden said that timing is everything.

“For the person who is injured or hurt, they want to get someone there as quickly as possible,” he said, and a lot of times, people with serious injuries can’t communicate with first responders or their loved ones.

But what about the emergency contacts on their phone?

“You have a vehicle that rolls, an individual’s belongings are scattered all over, and sometimes that phone may never be found again,” Roden explained.

With this information, police officers have someone’s emergency contacts at their fingertips. Roden said the person on the other end of the line wants to know what’s wrong as soon as possible.

“When they think about somebody being hurt or unable to communicate with and that they need there, it’s hard for them to think, ‘they went for a long time needing me and I wasn’t there,'” he said.

No one knows when disasters can strike, so Roden suggests adding the contacts now.

“It’s definitely a good resource for families, especially where if you have kids. If something happens and they need a parent or someone there quickly, it’s definitely a good tool.”

Anyone with a Utah driver’s license, driver’s permit, or ID card can use this contact list. You can register at the utah.gov website.

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State authorities remind Utahns to update their emergency contacts