The Pasadena Fire Department is implementing the Vial of Life program. The Vial of Life program is nationally recognized as saving countless lives each year by providing first responders with pertinent medical information during an emergency. When fire personnel are dispatched to a residence, they know to go to the refrigerator to retrieve important medical information.
This program started a number of years ago by the American Heart Association and has been met with great success. The program entails a magnet, vial, and medical reference sheet, all of which will be available to Pasadena residents at no cost. The program works by the user displaying the magnet (see example below) on their refrigerator. This alerts Fire personnel that there is a vial with a medical reference sheet inside. The vial is placed in a sealed pouch (baggie) in the refrigerator, usually recommended to be on the top shelf of the door, because it has been shown that a refrigerator's contents are typically not heat damaged in the event of a fire. The reference sheet has the patient’s vital information such as: medical history, medications, allergies, Physician’s Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST), Do Not Resituate (DNR) orders, Advanced Health Care Directive, primary care physician, pertinent phone numbers and insurance information. This information not only benefits the user by keeping all medical history organized, but also helps pre-hospital personnel make treatment and transport decisions in the event of a critical emergency when patients are unable to give valuable information. This program is valuable to emergency room personnel, allowing a complete and thorough reference of all the patients’ medical conditions and insurance information for administrators. “Residents can visit our city website http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/Fire/ to answer any questions they might have as well as to download the forms. The vials and refrigerator magnets are also available at any Pasadena Fire Station,” states Fire Chief Dennis J. Downs.
Contact: Lisa Derderian
(626) 744-7276 (office)
(626) 945-5169 (cell)