Vial of Life

The “Vial of LIFE” program is a collaborative effort supported by Sutter Health (Marin General Hospital and Novato Community Hospital), Kaiser Permanente, the County of Marin, the Marin Fire Chiefs Association and the Marin County Fire Department. The program is intended to provide community members with a method to store medical information in the home.

The Vial of LIFE kit enables emergency responders (firefighters, police officers and paramedics) to obtain helpful information regarding a patient’s medical history. This is especially important if the patient is unconscious or is unable to speak to the caregivers. The kit includes a small plastic vial (it resembles a medium size medication container), a magnet for the refrigerator door, a sticker for the front door, a medical information form and a small piece of Velcro®. By completing the medical information form and storing the vial correctly, you can provide vital life-saving information to the emergency responders.

A free Vial of L.I.F.E. can be picked up at any fire station in Marin County during normal business hours. Follow the instructions that are included with the Vial. Your medical information on the form should be updated whenever the information changes. It’s a good idea to review the information at least twice per year (do it at the same time you change your smoke detector batteries, when we change to and from daylight savings time). Additional medical information forms can be downloaded by clicking here:

How to use the Vial of LIFE

Complete the medical information form in English. The form must be legible to be beneficial to medical personnel. Be sure to keep the information up-to-date and accurate. Be sure to sign and date the form.

  • If available, attach a recent photograph (or photocopy of your drivers license) to the form.
  • Place the medical information form into the vial and attach the cap.
  • Place the vial on a shelf in the door of your refrigerator.
  • Place the magnet on the outside of the refrigerator in a prominent location. If the magnet does not stick to the door, use the self adhesive Velcro strip. Place one piece on the magnet and the other on the door.
  • Place the Vial of LIFE sticker on or near your front door where it is clearly visible to emergency responders.
  • Update the form whenever your medical history or medications change. Review the form at least twice per year when you change your smoke detector batteries.

Contact your physician or local fire station if you have any questions.