Thanks to the Daily News-Record for endorsing personal medical history to aid the fire department or rescue squad. However, many of us don’t want such information visible on the refrigerator or inside the front door. The nonprofit Vial of Life ( provides a free form to fill out, then fold and insert into an empty medicine bottle labeled with a special sticker. Another sticker on the front door alerts first responders to check the freezer. There, the vial and information can’t be damaged by fire, water, or electrical outage. One form and vial should be done for each resident and updated as needed.

As I live alone, I might not be conscious or remember all medications in an emergency. Neighbors don’t have my information. Years ago, my son chose “Vial of Life” from recommended Eagle Scout projects. He obtained empty vials from pharmacies, businesses contributed copies of the form, and he and the troop distributed 1,000 free Vials of Life at grocery stores, churches, and other venues.

Also, are your house numbers visible from the street day and night? I recently distributed flyers in my neighborhood. Tiny house numbers, numbers concealed by porch overhangs, or white numbers on beige siding don’t do it. If your residence is set back from the street, are numbers visible on a mailbox or painted on the curb? Sequences increase by fours, suddenly by 10, and then fours again. Minutes and seconds count in an emergency.

Heather Banks


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.