DHSMV And Senator Bill Galvano Celebrate 10 Years of ECI Program
~ Florida’s Emergency Contact Information (ECI) program began with Christine Olson a decade ago ~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), Senator Bill Galvano and Christine Olson of To Inform Families First (TIFF) are recognizing the 10-year anniversary of Florida’s emergency contact information (ECI) system. ECI is a state-supported, secure system that allows Floridians with a valid driver license or identification (ID) card to register contact information of up to two friends and/or family members for immediate notification in the event of an emergency. The emergency contact information can only be accessed by law enforcement and only in the event of an emergency.
“Over the past ten years, the ECI program has made an incredible difference in the lives of so many individuals,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Registering or updating your emergency contact information takes only a few minutes and can be done online or at a local DHSMV or tax collector office.”
The Florida ECI program began through the efforts of Christine Olson and Senator Bill Galvano. Ms. Olson’s daughter, Tiffiany, was involved in a fatal crash in 2005. Without any contact information, it took law enforcement more than six hours to notify Christine of her daughter’s situation. The agony of waiting, not knowing what had happened, prompted Christine to design a program to help notify families in memory of her daughter.
“In the midst of her tragedy, Christine Olson was able to realize something that has greatly impacted the lives of Floridians, all in honor of Tiffiany,” said Senator Bill Galvano. “The ECI program is a wonderful example of how motivated, concerned citizens can truly make a difference in the lives of those around them. I am proud to be a part of To Inform Families First and the ECI program in celebration of its 10 year anniversary.”
On October 2, 2006, Christine Olson became the first person to register ECI in Florida, creating the first ever ECI program in the nation. Ten years later, almost 11.5 million, or approximately 66 percent of Floridians with driver licenses and ID cards, have registered their ECI and other states have since replicated the program.
“In 2005, my life changed forever with my daughter’s death. I did not have the opportunity to say goodbye to her and I do not wish that for anyone,” said Christine Olson, founder of non-profit TIFF. “I am so proud of the ECI program and encourage everyone to register emergency contacts today. While the program arose out of a terrible tragedy, I know that Tiffiany’s death was not in vain, as it resulted in this this meaningful program that has brought peace of mind to so many families.”
Floridians with driver licenses or ID cards, available for children as young as five years old, can register ECI at a local DHSMV or tax collector office or online at www.flhsmv.gov/eci.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook. For safe driving tips and techniques, download the official Florida Driver License Handbook.