File of Life

West Windsor Township
Division of Emergency Services

West Windsor Township’s Division of Emergency Services, in a partnership with the West Windsor Professional Firefighters Association, Local 3610, and the West Windsor-Plainsboro Alcohol & Drug Alliance started a program in 2004 that will benefit Township residents during times of medical emergency. This program, called the File of Life will maximize our abilities to help you when responding to an emergency medical call in your home.

A completed File of Life worksheet could save your life or that of a family member. File of Life Application Form 

What is the File of Life?
The File of Life is a red plastic envelope, approximately 3 inches by 5 inches with a magnetic strip on the back, in which you place important medical information, such as; medications, medical history, etc. on a standardized form. The File of Life is then placed on the front of your refrigerator door. This information will assist responding personnel with previous medical history, medications, allergies, and other related information.

Why should I participate?
In order to properly treat a patient, emergency responders must gather information. When this information is available immediately upon our arrival at your home, minutes can be saved while we begin treatment. When seconds can mean the difference between life and death, the advantages of participation in this program are obvious. Sometimes a patient may be unable to communicate with the emergency responder and in those cases; we can look at the information provided on the form and help determine means of treatment.

Who will have access to this information?
If you or a family member require emergency medical treatment possible life saving information will be available to emergency responders. This includes West Windsor Township Emergency Services, Twin “W” First Aid Squad, West Windsor Police, local Fire Departments, and other emergency squads. The information will then be supplied to the paramedics and doctors at the treating hospital. At no time will this information be available to anyone other than emergency response personnel involved in your treatment. Prior to an emergency, the information is stored by you on your refrigerator door in your residence.

What happens when I am away from home?
If you would like to carry a second copy on you while traveling, make a photocopy and place in a wallet or purse. It is important not to take the File of Life or copy from home with you, we will be happy to provide township residents with additional supplies if needed.

Where will this information be stored?
The File of Life with the completed form will then be placed on the front door of your refrigerator. This location was chosen because it is centrally located and common to all households.

How will we know that you are partcipating?
The File of Life’s distinctive red pouch with magnetic strip is placed on the exterior of your refrigerator door and will notify personnel of your participation. In addition, each participant will be given a File of Life sticker to place on his or her front door.

Tell me how this works.
When we are called to your house for a medical emergency, Police, Fire and Rescue Squad members will look on your refrigerator door for a File of Life. Upon seeing the File, a member will retrieve the form from the pouch. The information may be used in treatment of you or your family member.

Who should participate?
It is our goal that all family members young and old will participate in the File of Life program.

How often should I update the information?
It is important to update and maintain current information. If there is a medication change, or any other problem that should be noted make changes on the form or get a new one. If you need additional forms, please contact West Windsor Emergency Services at 609-799-8735.