Vial can help save lives

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Saving a life and providing a sense of security are the foundation for the development of the Vial of Life program available through Wal-Mart stores.

Geared toward the elderly, residents record personal information, emergency contact numbers, medical history, a medication list and other pertinent information and place it in a vial in the refrigerator to aid emergency personnel. Also, information forms can be compiled for each family member in the home.

Roosevelt County Emergency Management Coordinator Chuck Haman said having the information available on scene can save emergency personnel time and even improve chances of a patient’s recovery. Even if a family member is on scene, they may not always have the correct information, he said.

“It’s a tool to assist in maintaining the correct information,” he said.

Free of charge, the vial also comes with a sticker to be placed in residents’ windows to alert emergency personnel who is taking part in the program.

Routinely encountered on emergency calls made by the Portales Fire Department, the vials have been a help to those emergency personnel arriving on scene. By seeing the window sticker, emergency personnel know that vital information can be found in the patient’s refrigerator, Battalion Chief John Bridges said.

“It can mean life or death, especially if no one is there to communicate for the patient,” Bridges said.

It is also recommended a vial and sticker be placed in the vehicles, Wal-Mart pharmacist Kyle Boydston said.

“It really is a good program. It’s something that not only the elderly but any person needs to keep,” Boydston said