The File of Life, a new program offered by the Bexley Police Department, encourages residents to maintain a file with life-saving information to assist police and emergency medical personnel who respond to service calls.

The Bexley Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association officially launched the program by distributing information packets during the Oct. 29 National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event at police headquarters, 559 N. Cassingham Road. Members of the association have learned police procedures and help educate their fellow citizens about safety.

The File of Life is a card that can be filled out, folded and stored in an accessible place, said Lee Nathans, association representative.

"It's a way of recording your medical information in a very small file -- any medical conditions you might have, any allergies, any medications that you're taking," Nathans said during a presentation at Bexley City Council's Oct. 24 meeting. "This would then be completed and stored on your refrigerator or any other surface that might be convenient in your residence."

Once residents fill out the File of Life card, they should submit a form informing the police department where the file is stored in their residence, Nathans said.

"The police department will record in the (department's) database, the location of every residence in the city that has the File of Life," he said. "When an emergency calls, the police department is the first responder even before the fire department gets there."

Maintaining a File of Life benefits both residents and first responders, Nathans said. For police and emergency medical personnel, the information provides instant access to a resident's medical history so the proper treatment can be administered. The program offers residents peace of mind that they will have prompt care and their emergency contacts will be immediately notified, he said.

First responders "will know that there is a File of Life which will be located in that residence and can use that information in terms of triaging the patient for the call of service," Nathans said.

For more information about the cards, email Bexley police Sgt. Dawn Overly-Sheterom at doverly@bexley.org.

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