Ensuring that residents have access to critical medical information during an emergency is the goal of the Mansfield Fire Department’s “Vial of Life” initiative.
The special kit gives patients a secure place to put vital medical information for first responders (firefighters, paramedics and police officers). For some residents, access to this information could be the difference between life and death.
“During an emergency situation, having this information is crucial,” says Captain Michael Roberts with the Mansfield Fire Department. “This is also the time when a patient or their family members are at their most vulnerable and often unable to provide key information needed by those providing emergency care. This kit prepares families for these situations.”
The kit includes a plastic tube to hold documents, medical information forms, an advance directive information sheet and a refrigerator decal to alert first responders that the patient has a Vial of Life kit in their home.
To use the kit, residents are asked to complete the medical information form in English, making sure it is legible and up-to-date. The form must also be signed and dated. The forms are then placed in the tube along with a recent photograph or copy of the patient’s driver’s license.
Fire Department officials say patients may also include other vital medical documents including a Living Will, DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form or medical reports such as an EKG.
Once completed, patients should place the tube in their refrigerator in a visible location for first responders to see. A Vial of Life decal should be placed on the refrigerator door.
Roberts says it is important to keep the medical information updated when there is a change in medical history or medications. Residents are encouraged to review the form twice a year.
For more information or to obtain a Vial of Life Kit, contact Mansfield Fire Department at 817-276-4790 or email