Lifesaving Information For Emergencies (L.I.F.E.) File

Emergencies can happen when we least expect them to and many of the requests for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) happen within the home. First Responders rely heavily upon the patient, and/or the patient’s family members, to provide information used to help in the treatment and care of the patient. The information includes past pertinent medical history, allergies to medications, medications currently prescribed to the patient, advanced medical directives and any additional information.  However, there are times when the patient is unable to provide this information and family members may not be present or available to assist Fire Responders during a medical emergency.  

What is the L.I.F.E. File?

The L.I.F.E. File is a simple tool individuals and families may use to assist emergency responders during a medical emergency. The L.I.F.E. File pouch is a vinyl magnetic pouch that is placed in an easily seen location on the front or side of the refrigerator. The L.I.F.E. File form that is contained within the pouch is to be completed for each person living in the home; one form per person. The information on the form will allow emergency medical responders to quickly learn about the patients past medical history, current medications the patient is taking, be alerted to any medication allergies the patient may have and much more information to assist the first responders in providing the best care possible for the patient. 

Who should have a L.I.F.E. File?

Everyone should have a L.I.F.E. File as emergencies can happen at any time to anyone. However, there are individuals that are more likely to benefit from the L.I.F.E. File.  Senior citizens and individuals with chronic disease or illness are more likely to use emergency medical services therefore it is highly recommended they utilize the L.I.F.E. File. 

Why do I need this information written down?

Medical emergencies can be stressful to the patient and for the patients loved ones. During these times of stress it can be difficult to remember the information and recall it quickly for the emergency personnel. There are also occasions where the medical emergency involves an unconscious individual who cannot provide the information needed. In these situations, the L.I.F.E. File then becomes “Lifesaving Information For Emergencies”.

What goes in the L.I.F.E. File pouch?LIFEFileformIMG 0085 1

L.I.F.E. File enables emergency medical personnel to quickly locate helpful information regarding your medical history in a time of crisis.  It is very important that you keep this information current, accurate, and placed in a prominent location on your REFRIGERATOR.

1. Fill out the L.I.F.E. File form completely in English.
2. Fold the L.I.F.E. File form in half and place it inside the magnetic pouch.
3. Enclose copies of any Advanced Directives (DNR, POLST, Living Will, etc.) in the pouch.
4. Place the L.I.F.E. pouch on the front or side of your REFRIGERATOR.

Important note: It is important to mark on the L.I.F.E. File form if you have an Advance Directive. These documents are required to be physically present and made available to emergency responders to abide by the documents instructions.

How can I obtain a L.I.F.E. File kit?

Contact Community Education Services (CES) at (408) 378-4010 or stop by a County Fire fire station to obtain ONE kit as there is limited supply at the fire stations.

To obtain large quantities of the kits (25 or more), please contact Santa Clara County EMS Agency (408)794-0600

L.I.F.E. File kits may also be available at other Santa Clara County fire departments and ambulance providers.

Where can I get additional forms for the L.I.F.E. File?    

Download a blank L.I.F.E. File Form. Blank L.I.F.E. File forms are also available on the Santa Clara County EMS website.

Did the L.I.F.E. File help when you called 9-1-1?

If you or a loved one used the L.I.F.E File recently during an emergency please let us know. Would you like to encourage others to get their own L.I.F.E. File? Send your story to