Vial of Life initiative could be lifesaver Former EMT assists residents and responders
Vial of Life Chair Marjorie Strohsahl, left, and SWC President Roberta Dyrsten affix alert decal on door
By AMY SHEWCHUK SPARTA - A Vial of Life kit speaks for you when you are unable to speak for yourself. And that could save your life. The Sparta Woman’s Club has taken on a new community improvement project in town called the Vial of Life. The Vial of Life is a kit that holds valuable information regarding a patient and makes it readily available for EMT’s and first responders in an emergency. Marjorie Strohsahl, a member of the Sparta Women’s Club and former EMT brought the project to the attention of the community. “I was an EMT with the Ogdensburg First Aid Squad years ago and we gave out Vial of Life kits which helped us as first responders seeking vital information to best care for patients,” Strohsahl said. “We found it to be extremely helpful, in fact, life-saving. I first learned about Vial of Life as a member of the Junior Woman’s Club of Arlington, before moving to Sussex County in 1976. Most recently, when a neighbor passed, I recalled the project and wanted to revive it in Sparta. That is when I brought it to the attention of the Sparta Woman’s Club. They wholeheartedly agreed to make it their special Community Improvement Project.” The kit contains a baggie with a red decal on the front, a note of instructions from the Sparta Woman’s Club, a medical information form, an extra copy of the medical form, and a red decal for the homeowner’s front door. The medical form lists important information such as a person’s date of birth, medications, allergies, medical conditions and mental health status, as well as contact information for doctors and family members. Participating residents should complete the medical form, place it in the baggie with the red decal, affix the baggie to the front of their refrigerator and place the other red decal on their home’s front door. The decal on the door alerts arriving police and first responders that the vital information needed is inside, on the refrigerator door. Anyone may benefit from using a kit, especially senior citizens, those living alone, those with medical or mental problems, families with special needs children or adults, and others. “Sparta Township and Sparta Emergency Services are excited to partner with Marjorie and the Sparta Women’s Club on this very important program.” Sparta Police Chief Neil Spidaletto said. “The Vial of Life will provide first responders critical information to access, take, and use immediately when sometimes minutes are so valuable to sustaining life or administering aid. Collectively we intend to educate the public on what this incorporates and hopefully have quite a few individuals, families, and organizations take advantage of this program.” Sparta Woman’s Club members will have available Vial of Life kits for any Sparta household at their booth on Sparta Day, June 2. Prior to that date, distribution points have been arranged for pickup by residents as follows: Sparta Ambulance Building, Sparta Avenue, on Monday, April 9, from 10:00 a.m. until noon and Tuesday, April 10, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. There will also be a distribution points at the Sparta Library Reading Room on Tuesday, April 24 from 10:00 a.m. until noon, and on Thursday, April 26, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. and at Knoll Heights Village, Tuesday, April 17, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This project is open to all Sparta residents. If residents from neighboring towns would like information on how to start the project in their town, they may speak with the clubwomen at any location site. The cost to the SWC for each kit is fifty cents. Sponsors are being sought to fund this project. Anyone interested in sponsorship may email SWCvialoflife@gmail.com and request information, or write to Sparta Woman’s Club, P. O. Box 612, Sparta NJ 07871. The Sparta Woman’s Club is a member of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs (NJSFWC) and of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), the oldest and largest non-partisan, non-denominational women’s volunteer service organization in the world. Opportunities are provided to women in education, leadership training and community service through participation in local clubs, enabling clubwomen to make a difference in the lives of others, one project at a time. For information about the Club or this project, please visit spartawomanclub.org, or email SWCvialoflife@gmail.com. To learn about the NJSFWC, visit www.njsfwc.org or call (732) 249-5474/5485. For information about GFWC, visit www.gfwc.org.