File Life magnet IMG_20161103_161336813
Local News

Flossmoor initiates program to save time during emergency calls

Saving your own life has never been easier. Flossmoor firefighters say their free File of Life program can save valuable minutes by providing first responders – usually paramedics or police – with a mini-medical history when they make emergency calls to homes in the village.

  (Photo by Tom Houlihan/H-F Chronicle)

 

Saving your own life has never been easier.

Flossmoor firefighters say their free File of Life program can save valuable minutes by providing first responders – usually paramedics or police – with a mini-medical history when they make emergency calls to homes in the village.

Advertisement

Matt Berk, a Flossmoor Fire Department captain, said first responders often have no idea about what to expect when they respond to residential emergencies.

All too often, he said, police or paramedics arrive at a residence with no knowledge of who lives there, if they suffer from a specific health problem or whether they need medicine right away. There are generally questions about doctors or next of kin.

“It’s much more common than people realize,” he said.

The File of Life is especially beneficial for senior citizens who have trouble taking care of themselves and disabled persons, Berk said. The program is also designed for people who may not have computer access or are less connected in our digital world.

The fire department initiated the program this fall.

Persons using the File of Life are asked to follow a few simple directions. They need to fill out an information card, which is kept in a magnetic envelope labeled “File of Life” and attached to the refrigerator. Participants can also carry a smaller, wallet-sized version of the card.

The card lists important information, including the patient’s name, emergency medical contacts, insurance policy information, health problems, medications and dosages, allergies, recent surgeries, religion, doctor’s name and health care proxy.

Participants should also attach a File of Life sticker on their front door window, Berk said.

“Then we know right away to look for the envelope on the refrigerator,” he said.

File of Life is a national program managed by a nonprofit corporation. It has been recognized by the National Sheriff’s Association and the National Council on Aging, as well as chapters of organizations like AARP and the Red Cross.

Berk said Flossmoor is the first area community to adopt a File of Life program. He said similar programs – such as those that suggest putting information in a bottle stored in the refrigerator – have been in place since the 1980s.

“But we believe the File of Life is right for this community and can make a real difference,” he said.

Berk said persons wishing more information about Flossmoor’s program should contact the fire department at 708-798-3885

For more information about the national File of Life program, go to www.folife.org.

Community Calendar

News by email

Subscribe to The Latest (daily headlines email)

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Free weekly newsletter

Subscribe to The Weeks (weekly newsletter)

* indicates required
Most read stories this week