File of Life

Rice County EMS is a participant in a program called “File of Life”. This program is designed for the elderly and/or residents who have significant or chronic health problems and/or for those who have difficulty communicating health issues with emergency workers and hospital staff. What this means for the residents of Rice County is better emergency health care. Often times, EMS workers respond to an emergency and the residents are unable to give a complete history of their medical issues. Most commonly this is due to the resident having multiple issues, medications and/or allergies that are difficult to remember. Other times it’s due to a patient not being alert enough to give information.

Here’s how it works: Rice County EMS will provide you with a “File of Life” packet. The packet includes a magnet, medical history form and a sticker. Complete the form as thoroughly as possible. In most cases your doctor’s office can help you with this as well as family members and EMS workers. Once the form is complete, place it in the envelope that is on the magnet. Hang the File of Life on the refrigerator. Place the sticker that comes in the packet on the outside door/screen door. The sticker should be at eye level above the handle. If you have more than one door, place the sticker on the door that would most likely be used by the EMS workers. Another recommendation is to use the magnet to hang other important medical documents on the refrigerator such as DNR’s or Living Wills.

So, how will this help? To answer this, we will give you a little scenario. Your neighbor comes over to your house and finds the door open but there is no sign of you. The neighbor enters your home to check on you and they find you unresponsive sitting in a chair. You cannot respond to the neighbor because you are unconscious. The neighbor calls 9-1-1 and requests EMS. EMS arrives at your house and as they enter the residence they see a Rice County EMS File of Life sticker on the front door. The moment they make contact with you, one EMT performs an assessment and asks the neighbor for information. The neighbor states that they don’t know much about your medical problems. The other EMT goes to the refrigerator and retrieves your File of Life that they know you have from the sticker on the front door. It’s quickly discovered that you are a diabetic. Due to finding this information quickly, a blood sugar is immediately assessed, and they find that your blood sugar is low. The EMTs administer a shot of medicine to raise your blood sugar. You slowly wake up and return to normal. The EMTs help you find something to eat which you do and your blood sugar returns to normal.

The File of Life program is a great program that Rice County EMS is proud to be a part of. This program is free to residents of Rice County, Kansas. If you are a Rice County Resident, or live within the response area of Rice County EMS, you may contact us via the information below for your free packet, which includes a sticker for your front door, a medical information form and a magnet that has warning signs of stroke and heart attack as well as important contact information.

Contact Information:
Rice County EMS
Office: 620-257-5200