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File Of Life Cards Aid Carlstadt First Responders

Hernan Lopez
Hernan Lopez Photo Credit: COURTESY: Hernan Lopez

CARLSTADT, N.J.– Carlstadt first responders can obtain medical information for patients through the borough's new File of Life program.

Created by Emergency Management Coordinator Hernan Lopez, the red, magnetized information holder allows residents to keep their personal information, emergency contacts, medical data, medications, dosage and more handy.

Those that get the free card must fill out the paperwork, which folds into the magnetized holder.

"I always see the inconveniences, how hard it is to get information for patients," said Lopez, who is also a volunteer firefighter and the borough's fire inspector.

Lopez sent a letter to first responders asking them to check for File of Life cards when responding to calls.

He's also received positive feedback from police and EMTs, who found the card on a refrigerator in a home.

"They didn't [previously] know how much help it would be in the case of an emergency," Lopez said.

Lopez said he's personally delivered the free cards to seniors and other members of the community.

"I'm trying to get the cards in everyone's home eventually," he added.

More than 90% of medical emergency calls are treated without knowledge of the patients' medical history, according to Carlstadt's Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

"That’s why the Carlstadt OEM urges participation in the File of Life program for senior citizens and anyone whose medical facts will be critical to first responders," according to a statement from the organization. "The File of Life card enables emergency responders to obtain a quick and accurate medical history when a patient is unable to offer one. The card also eliminates the risk of a patient forgetting to mention something important."

Residents can pick up the card at the OEM office at 500 Madison Street.

For more information call (201) 531-7182 or (201) 362-1942.

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